Framing With No Obvious Frame

Often an effective frame is created just from light and toning. Vignettes are an example. Today’s post lists several benefits that framing provides to your image’s composition. The illustration that follows achieves most of these benefits without the use of anything that is a frame in the conventional sense – but it’s a frame nevertheless when it comes to image composition.

Compositional benefits of frames:

  • Draws the eye to the subject
  • Keeps it there longer by creating a divider between the subject and its surrounding context
  • Adds depth to the image
  • Provides context

Civil War Reenactment

Not a posed shot

Capturing a post-breakfast moment from down low inside the cook’s tent

There’s no question as to the subject

The frame (tonal contrast and focus) is there though invisible in the normal sense

The frame both highlights the subject and, also, provides context and depth

An example where placing the subject in the center works

The contents of the perimeter (frame) complete the story of this moment

One of the less than 1-in-a-1000 of my images containing people


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