Improving Composition: Use Objects as a Frame

There’s no right way or wrong way to take pictures, but there are always ways to improve how they turn out. As you try different techniques to figure out your style, here’s a tip to experiment with. Use objects in your shot to build a frame or partial frame.

What do I mean by that? Let’s say your taking a picture of a fountain at the park and want to get artsy with it. Sure, you can walk up to it and snap a picture. But you can add an entirely new aesthetic if you position a portion of a bush in the lower left corner making a partial border and a tree trunk and branch to fill the right and top of the picture.

One way I took advantage of this technique is when I was on vacation sitting on the balcony overlooking the beach. I pointed my camera toward a palm tree and used to branches as a frame, capturing the beach between two palm tree branches.

Anything can be used as a border and you can mix distances of these objects too. Keeping these out of the depth of field and allowing them to blur can create an even more powerful effect by drawing less attention to them. If you use angles in this process, you can also guide your viewers’ eyes to various parts of the photo.

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