Sam Kacey

Sam's expertise is in Landscape, Portrait, and Travel photography. He and his team also review the best Cameras and Lenses on the market in 2022 for B&H Photo.

Whether you’re an amateur with a passion for photography or a professional photographer, you may have often heard of ‘framing’ and how it plays an important role in creating powerful pictures. If you want to create a masterpiece for yourself, you should consider asking, “What does framing mean in photography?” and “How can I benefit from it?”

We often see photographs of mountainous sceneries from inside tents. These types of pictures allow us to see landscapes from the photographer’s perspective. If the photo is good enough, you might even feel the bliss of chilly air as if you were there.

We often also see similar images, such as those of the sky with an airplane soaring through, all from the window of a bedroom. These are just two examples of framing in photography. Framing is among the most important elements when it comes to photography.

To put it simply, framing is that one thing that makes pictures visually and contextually interesting. It gives us viewers a fresh point of view and a distinct sense of how they can experience images. But the question that brought you here was…

What Does Framing Mean in Photography?

In visual art, which includes photography, framing could be described as a presentation of the visual elements of images formed by the subject’s placement with respect to the other object. Framing will help increase the overall aesthetic value of images.

To put it simply, framing helps to create symmetry while also drawing attention towards a framed object. Some people also opine that it helps with the composition while creating depth in the image and making objects a lot more interesting – especially if there is a thematic frame involved in the equation.

When you’re photographing, framing will help manipulate viewpoints so it allows viewers to not only view the object but also grasp the surroundings. Framing also enables viewers to visualize the context of the image while feeling certain emotions for the subject of the image.

In other words, framing in photography uses elements in a specific composition in order to create a visual balance. This results in leading viewers towards a primary subject in the background.

How Does Framing Help in Photography?

Now that you understand what framing is used for in photography, you probably want to know how you can benefit from framing as well. Before you can go ahead and test it for yourself, you first have to decide what the object of the photo is going to be. This is important since the object will be the main focus and the thing you want your viewers to notice first.

Once you have decided upon the subject, your next step will be to decide on the story.

What do you think you will represent in these photos? Why do you think this object matters? What reactions do you want to elicit from the viewers? How would you like them to feel about these items?

After you have answered all of these questions, you will then be able to choose framing to help you achieve all of these purposes. You will be free to use whatever objects are available around your chosen landscape. If you can’t find anything worthy, you can always create an object for yourself.

What Does Natural Frame Mean in Photography?

Even though there are other styles of photography that also often make use of natural framing, it tends to be more prevalent when it comes to landscape photography.

Natural frames are a fantastic method of adding aesthetical value to objects, especially if the object will seem a little lonely on its own. For instance, if you are going to capture mountains, you should also be able to capture the sky.

But what if your sky looks a little empty without clouds? Your viewer’s attention will automatically be drawn towards the negative spaces in the blue sky and not towards the mountain.

You might be wondering about how you can avoid this from happening.

Well, you can add a frame to block a part of the empty sky, so you can draw your viewers’ attention towards the peak. You can use leaves, branches, and various other objects that look beautiful and natural with the mountain.

This is another method you should pay attention to. Your frame should have a connection with each object since your goal will be to complement the object. Of course, you can always use random objects in your frame, but this may reduce a picture’s value instead of making these objects appear a lot stronger than they actually are.

What Does Frame Within a Frame Mean in Photography?

While you’re dabbling with frames within your pictures, you’re bound to stumble into a creative little photography style called frame within a frame. The concept is nothing more than using multiple frames within an image.

Using multiple frames within a frame adds more depth in just one picture. For instance, you could photograph a lake through the open window of a balcony inside a boat. The boat will be the primary object in the image, but the viewers’ attention will be drawn towards the blue ocean in the background.

The boat’s balcony will act as the foreground, while the window will be the first frame. You are bound to see some other elements of the boat, such as walls, in the picture’s mid-ground. This will help you block some of the negative space of the ocean.

Why Should You Consider Framing in Photography?

To finally unlock your skills as a veteran photographer, you will have to learn how to frame your pictures…and we don’t mean the decorating pieces you keep on your bedside table or hang on the walls in your homes. The right type of framing will be able to create a new sense of stability within the photograph.

This is one of the main purposes of framing, and it will keep your viewers’ attention away from the distracting elements of the photos as opposed to the primary object you’re trying to capture. Go ahead and have a look at some of the best framing techniques in photography, and you’ll have a better understanding of what we’re talking about.

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