If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.– Robert Capa
When I was starting my “apprenticeship” in photography, I was often frustrated with the results. My images lacked drama and did not convey the artistic “message” I was hoping to convey. All that changed when I followed the advice of the experts who say, “Get close to your subject” and “Think about how to frame the shot.”
You can think of the frame as the edge of a photograph, or the edges of the viewfinder that you use when you raise the camera to your eye. The advice to fill the frame means to get in close, and make sure your subject occupies a significant amount of space in your shot.
I’ll start with an example from my files of poor framing.
Not Filling the Frame
After taking dozens of shots of Nina Akamu’s amazing American Horse sculpture in Meijer Gardens, I was not satisfied. None of my shots adequately conveyed the power and majesty of this 24-foot bronze sculpture. In this first shot, the viewer isn’t sure of what to focus on–the horse, the sky, or the green hill because the horse takes up only a small portion of the frame.
Filling the Frame
Now take a look at this next shot where I zoomed in on the horse and filled the frame with the head and upper torso. Here, the horse seems to rear up and tower over the viewer. Do you agree that its powerful neck and flank convey the animal’s power and majesty?
Frame in terms of what you want to have in the picture, not about making a nice picture, that anybody can do. ~Garry Winogrand
Here’s another example. Once again, I had taken dozens of shots of this peony at a distance, but my shots did not do justice to the flower and did not highlight the delicate poetry of the petals. But by zooming in on the petals, I could fill the frame with their varied shapes and coloration. This final shot comes closer to achieving what I wanted.
A frame is the foundation from which everything evolves. ~Bob Burg
On a visit to Sedona, Arizona, I took dozens of shots of the red rock formations at a distance, but I was frustrated with the results. By framing the shot differently and zooming in on just one sandstone cliff in the setting sun, I could highlight the beauty and majesty of these sandstone formations.
It’s the frames which make some things important and some things forgotten. It’s all only frames from which the content rises. ~Eve Babitz
By zooming in on this sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago, I was able to exclude the extraneous details in the room and fill the frame with this one work of art. This shot highlights the texture and wonderful expression on this animal’s face.
This week, we invite you to explore filling the frame for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66. You can include images of buildings, people, objects, and/or elements from nature. Feel free to include shots of the same subject before you filled the frame and after you filled the frame. In your post, include a link to this post. (Links from the Reader are not working correctly.) Use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. For instructions on how to join us, click here.
Last week, Tina invited us to “Pick a Place” and explore why it’s a favorite spot. What a fabulous idea, Tina! We all enjoyed seeing your treasured places.
Did You See These?
- Robert of Photo Roberts Blog shares shots of Hamburg, his favorite city.
- Restless Jo takes us on a boat ride to Rio Arade in Portugal, her special place.
- Pam of I Choose This shares her experience hiking through the Lost Coast, a remote, rugged and beautiful part of California.
Next week, our talented Ann Christine will host Challenge #67, so please stop by her site.
As always, Amy, Tina, Ann-Christine, and I hope you will join us!