Framing Your Photos


A basic guide to improve the quality of your photos.

Framing / Guideline #1

The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is oldest and most popular trick in the book to improving the composition of imagery. The term was coined by John Smith, an English painter in 1797. He used it to compose paintings of landscapes, however it can be applied to any format of art with any subject.

The rule splits images into nine equal rectagular boxes using three vertical lines and three horizontal lines. It states that if the most important pieces of your composition are near those lines (especially the junctions), your finished product with be more pleasing to the human eye.

Creativity is meant to bend rules, including the rule of thirds. Most artists suggest ditching the rule if it limits your creativity of capturing your subject. In my opinion, whether you use the rule of thirds or not, take your time to consider how you will position your subject before snapping the shot.

Most cameras have built in grids to help you frame better. Check your camera settings if it isn't already enabled.

Framing / Guideline #2

Creating Depth

Having your main subject the only thing in focus greatly increases their importance in the image. Creating noticible depth between the background, foreground, and subject makes your subject stand with the unecessary parts of your photo out of focus.

There are many ways to create extra depth through editing and buying more expensive lenses, but the simplest and cheapest way to create depth is to change the position of you subject. Move your subject farther from the background and shoot at the widest aperature to create extra depth. It will improve the look of your photos and make your subject more noticeable.

Framing / Guideline #3

Leading Lines

Leading lines says it all in its name. It leads the viewer to your focal point using lines. It is pretty unique and they add more structure to your photograph. To apply leading lines, you use the natural shapes and edges of your landscape to lead into your picture and to your subject. Done sucessfully, the viewer's gaze will follow the lines towards your subject, making your subject more pronounced. You should not have any lines leading out of your photograph because those will lead the viewer away to the edges of your picture and eventually off the canvas.


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