Focus on Travel Photography

Photography Composition Rules Close-Ups Simplifying Filling the Frame Choosing a Format Placing the Horizon Line The Rule of Thirds Lines Taking Pictures Through Frames Patterns Textures High and Low Camera Angles Abstract Composition Establishing Size Color
Taking Pictures Through Frames
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Taking Pictures Through Frames

A quick way to focus attention on a particular subject and to enhance the sensation of depth in a scene is to use some object or shape in the foreground as a frame within a frame, such as the overhanging bough that frames a landscape. Many other creative possibilities include doorways, windows, archways—almost anything that lets you look through one thing at another.

In using frames, lens choice is important. You may want to put on a medium telephoto lens and back away from the frame so you use the lens's power to compress the background and frame together—a garden statue seen through a rose-covered trellis, for example.

To keep both frame and subject in sharp focus, set a small aperture so there is sufficient depth of field. If you want only the subject sharp, use a wide aperture. Be sure that the focusing sensors are on the main subject and not on the frame; otherwise you'll focus on the foreground instead of the main subject. Frames work best if they are darker than your main subject, so take your light reading from the subject and let the frame fall into darkness.

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