Photographic Composition – My First Real Attempt at Framing

Since I am neither classically nor formally trained in art or photography, I am on a personal journey to learn the fundamentals of the art of photography. One of the interesting rules of composition that I have learned is the rule of framing.  Darren Rowse has a simple and concise blog post about frames in which he defines framing as “. . . the technique of drawing attention to the subject of your image by blocking other parts of the image with something in the scene.” Here are a couple of good blog posts on framing in composition: Courtney Slazinik “Photography Composition: 4 Types of Framing”; Digital Photo Mentor “Create Strong Photographic Composition Using Framing”.

Initially, I was surprised while researching this topic that some photographers think this composition style should be used infrequently. Honestly, I’m not sure why, because I think it is a pretty amazing way to take a photo.  I suppose anything if over-done can become contrived. Rowse says that the key to knowing when to use a frame is by asking, “Does the frame add to the photo or does it take away.”

Recently, I was out with the intention of taking high-contrast, moody black-and-white architecture photos.  I was meeting a friend for lunch at the world-famous Varsity hotdog stand in Atlanta and had a couple of hours before to go shoot photos at Atlantic Station – a planned development north of Midtown. The weather was overcast and foggy, so it was a perfect day for black-and-white architecture photography.

On my shot list was the Millennium Gate on 17th Street in Atlantic Station.  I spent some time taking photos of the Gate.

Atlantic Station 2017-7602
Millennium Gate, Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia [Photo by Lee Reese]
At one point, I turned around and saw 12 Atlantic Station framed by the Millennium Gate.

Atlantic Station 2017-7609
12 Atlantic Station framed by the Millennium Gate, Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia [Photo by Lee Reese].
I found the framing to be an interested way to enhance the subject. The challenge is to compose without cluttering the photo or detracting from the subject. My self-critique of the photo above is that the subject becomes confusing.

I welcome any thoughts and suggestions!


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