Framing

The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”
― Robert Frank

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Figure 1. Young Photographer © Enrique Peláez

One of the composition techniques that in my opinion is very effective to emphasize your focal point is framing. Framing is used in photography as a way to draw attention to your subject, so the frame usually goes partially or completely around the subject.  Now, why framing a subject? well first of all framing gives context to the photo, in other words it provides information to further understand the image. For example, in figure 1 the framing provide an extra context (along with the background) in order to figure out that the subject is under probably a dock or waterway.

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Figure 2. Americana © Enrique Peláez

Another  benefit of using framing to emphasize the subject has to do with providing depth. Let’s examine the image in figure 2, without the framing the landscape in there would look frankly flat and probably uninteresting. So, framing adds depth making, in my opinion, the scene much more interesting to look at.

As many other composition techniques framing is about leading the viewer’s attention to the focal point moreover sometimes using framing helps to keep the attention on the focal point, In figure 3 the frame created by darkened the foreground and background not just guide the viewer’s eye to the tiger but also keeps it there.

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Figure 3. Majestic © Enrique Peláez

Finally framing helps to create intrigue. The sense of intrigue created by framing the subject in figure 3 poses questions on the viewer like, is the tiger dead?  what happened? wouldn’t be possible without framing the subject given the original photo before the burning processing to frame the subject clearly shows the tiger is in a Zoo taking a nap.

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