When you say “framing” in photography, it usually means composing the photo so that the subject is the focal point and all the clutter in the foreground and background are excluded. But “framing” has another meaning in photography. It is also a technique by which the subject is positioned inside a border. The border, instead of becoming a distraction, adds interest to the photo by drawing the eyes to the subject. A frame also provides perspective and, often, gives depth to a photo.
There are cases when a natural frame is already there and you just need to position your camera so that the subject is in the center of the frame. In the photo above, the stone post on the left and the fronds of a coconut tree on the right (tree excluded because it was too far to my right) provide a great frame to an otherwise staid photo of sand and cottages. The photo above also illustrates one of the most common framing techniques in photography — the use of an object or objects in the foreground to create a frame. You can find similar examples here and here.
There are also times when the frame itself becomes the subject of interest when the intended subject cannot be positioned in a favorable angle.
In the photo above, my girls wouldn’t pose for a photo but that didn’t stop me from taking an interesting shot.
Other times, the subjects voluntarily position themselves inside a frame giving the photographer an easier time.
That’s me and my sister-in-law, Bing, a visiting balikbayan from Chicago. Sam took the photo.
So, next time you take a photo, outdoors or indoors, look around for objects that can serve as a good frame for your subject. Leaves, trees, vines, doorways, windows… All of them can enhance your photos — just learn how to make good use of them.