Framing and Composition.


A form of expression for many that allows you to see the world from another perspective. Here are some techniques that will add more character into your photos:

Rule of thirds –

The rule of thirds is a recommended layout in a sense, almost guidelines. Imagine three by three lines across your photo, the intersections are points of attention. Viewers will unknowingly be drawn to these points so to put the main subjects within these points a photo may capture the audience more; There is a more advanced method named the Phi Grid which has more detailed proportions and extra lines.

All credit to rightful owner. (Unknown.)

Negative space –

Negative space is an eye-catching but possibly dreary or dull looking method to some. This is placing the subject in the foreground of a white/empty background and allows space to breathe. Essentially, it lets you think about the image or simply take it as it is.

All credit to rightful owner. (unknown.)

High angle shot –

A photo taken from a birds-eye view/from above. This can be effective in many different ways for example, showing a crowd of people dressed in black holding umbrellas with one person dressed in yellow among the masses, maybe looking up and smiling. By not showing the other faces the others are disappearing into or becoming the background in a sense it could create the image of “This is your story” or “feeling alone in a crowd.”

All credit to rightful owner. (Unknown.)

Low angle shot –

Following the same idea as a high angle shot, a low angle shot is one taken from below, looking up at the subject. This may give the subject a powerful look or if photographing something like a building you can take a photo from a low angle shot and it will appear taller.

All credit to rightful owners. (Unknown.)

Dutch angle –

A dutch angle is a photo taken at an angle where the horizon is not straight, this technique is used commonly in horror movies as it is an unsettling, unnatural point of view.

All credit to rightful owners. (Unknown.)

Depth of field –

Depth of field is the illusion that the subject of the image is sharp whereas the background is out of focus, this draws full attention to the subject in the foreground. This could also be used in a photo to focus on a face in the foreground and blur the rest to give off the feel of loneliness or unfamiliarity.

Framing –

Framing is just as it sounds, you use a frame within your photo. This draws attention to the subject by circling it in a sense and can create an almost isolated illusion.

All credit to rightful owner. (Unknown.)

Eye level shot –

An eye level shot is where the photo is taken at the same height as your eyeline. This can be effective for photos that are meant to seem more personal and put the audience in an almost interactive feeling position.

all credit goes to rightful owner. (unknown.)

Contrast –

A contrast can be opposite colours and shades or themes within a photo for example something we had done in class was use a pink can and kit kat bar and propped a skull pen up against them. “Sweet but deadly” or a sense of deception could be taken from the photo. When it comes to black, white and grey it could be considered tonal balance too. (The contrast of light and dark.)

In these photos there’s a yellow flower which is typically has happy connotations that has wilted and has a black background creating a hopeless image. The second photo has a woman breathing in, or out, love however this black and white theme might not seem to be appropriate with the idea of love that most have. (Credit to photographers.)

High Horizon shot –

This is an image where the horizon is typically in the top half of the image.

My own photo.

Low horizon shot –

Much alike the high horizon shot, this is a photo where the horizon is in the lower half of the photo.

My own photo.

Symmetry –

Symmetry in photos is a common thing to find within many personal aesthetics, such as minimalism.

Credit to rightful owner. (Unknown.)

Asymmetrical shots –

These are images that aren’t balanced due to symmetry but instead it’s tones and sizes within the image. For example, if there is heavy shading you would also need heavy highlighting to balance that out though a concept like that might be harder to pull off nicely without becoming a contrasting image.

The photo below has darker rocks and shadows that the viewers eyes will first be drawn to but then the mountains in the background are lighter so the focus will switch.

Credit to rightful owner. (Unknown.)

Colour balance –

Brighter colours bring more attention to them than more neutral ones so to add a slight bit of colour to an image of mostly monotone tones you can create an even more effective image.

In the image below the harsher toned red is balanced out by the more neutral yellows/greens of the grass and colder blue hues.

Conceptual balance –

This is a type of balance that mixes topics like industrialisation and nature together as a contrast/juxtaposition. There are many ways to approach this but the example below is one of my favourites I’d seen while looking for an example due to the tonal balance too.

By Ian Bramham

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