Photography

 
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Learn how to frame a picture by practice


‘L-shaped frames are useful to learn composition in photography


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Cut two pieces of L-shaped black cardboard some 5cm wide and about 25cm on each side. You should get something roughly about this  L  shape. A couple of L-shaped frames has an advantage over a single solid cardboard rectangle: you can change the ratio of your frame as you see fit.
As an easier alternative, you can use your hands (usually thumbs and index fingers) in the rough shape of a frame.

Now, your black frame in hands, consider two movements you are going to perform for every scene you want to make a picture of:

  • Place your eyes — The first and most important movement is choosing the right point of view.
  • Set eyes-to-frame distance — Allow for a wider or narrower portion of your subject to be included in the frame: this is equivalent to changing the focal length of a lens. In other words, it is like a zoom.

No need to have a camera at all. You could also try with a transparency film mount.
This kind of training is a very useful preliminary to shooting photographs.
We suggest that you make a practice of framing anything you see, anything you find interesting, anytime.

Start by playing with all the images below!

Red tulips in a field — photo by Brad Smith Venaria Reale, Italy — photo by Gret@Lorenz Farm in Monferrato, Italy — photo by Fabio Montalto View of Isolabella from Taormina in Sicily, Italy — photo by David Evers Brightly coloured abstract photograph — photo by Philippa Willitts Cala Dogana, Levanzo, Sicily, Italy — photo by Fabio Montalto Green waves in Le Marche, Italy — photo by Gigi62 The beaver in the lake, Ontario, Canada — photo by Steve Wall Santa Maria di Vitaleta in summer, Tuscany, Italy — photo by Carlo Tardani Island of Orta S.Giulio, Italy — photo by Fabio Montalto Morning at Glacier National Park — photo by Trey Ratcliff Crew members unwrap a balloon — photo by Bruno Furnari

Please note that the two L-shaped black frames are simulated by a couple of rectangles which are transparent in part. In order to move the lefthand one grab it where it does not overlap the righthand one.

Brightly coloured abstract photograph — photo by Philippa Willitts

©Philippa Willitts Brightly coloured abstract photograph




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