XDrive Photo Lesson 7 – Frame your subject

This is my submission for XDrive Photo Lesson 7 – Frame your subject. All photos were taken with Nikon D750.

Raj’s examples (for this lesson) are easy to understand. But, don’t we all already stop in front of every arch we have encountered to shoot a photo through the arch? Maybe this is a piece of cake? 😉

(Left: F/7.1, 1/800 Sec., ISO 200, 75mm.)
I like the light. If I am right, the darker buildings on the left side served as a frame.

(Right: f/11, 1/250 Sec., ISO 250, 44 mm.)
My great nephew was hiding behind his dad. What you don’t see is that there were 4 cameras pointing at him at that time 😉

Other than my great nephew, the rest of the photo is black and while, which serves as a frame.

So far so good – I mean the first hour went very well. Then I started getting confused like I usually do.

(Left: F/9, 1/1250 Sec., ISO 720, 100 mm.)

Is it possible that the green part on the top half (the background), can be considered as a frame? How about the bottom part – the deck (the foreground)?

Raj said, “Generally framing is achieved by composing the picture such way that one or more edges of your picture intentionally contains other objects to make a frame.”

I did intentionally include the lawn and the deck, but I didn’t intentionally use them as frames…

(Right: F/11, 1/40 Sec., ISO 1600, 65 mm)

The black background is also served as a frame, I think.

Last photo…

(F/11, ¼ Sec., ISO 1600, 300 mm)

I think the brown background is a frame, but how about the book? Does it count as a secondary frame? Or a secondary subject?

I am thinking (for a long while)… maybe the word frame doesn’t mean what I thought it meant.

Raj said, “The main purpose of framing is to emphasize our subject in the picture.”

In post processing, I often darken/lighten the background to make my subject standout more. Maybe… that is kind of “framing”. Maybe whatever we do to make our subject standout (including vignetting) is an effort of creating a “frame”. Yes?

Again, thanks for a great lesson, Raj.

Thank you for visiting my blog.


About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts, Photo Question and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to XDrive Photo Lesson 7 – Frame your subject

  1. Amy says:

    Well done, Helen! I really like how you approach the frame. The last one is beautifully done, two layers, very clever! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. Sometime I think I have learning disability. Even for a simple thing, I usually have to go through some struggling in order to get it. A lot of time in the past, I pretended I understood, and later searched for an answer online. Now I am at a different age (older), and Raj is very patient, I decide to take a short cut – just ask 😉
      I like the last photo, too. It’s the view I like my mind to see.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amy says:

        Hi Helen, I think when we passionately about something, we want to learn; the more we learn, the more questions we may have (that’s not learning disability). I’d think it happens to people at all ages. 🙂
        Often, I let the question rest in mind for a little while…, that could be my learning disability. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Thanks, Amy. You are right! Come to think of it, I have more question for writing and photographing than others. Ha. Thank you! It’s wonderful to have you as a friend.
          Have a wonderful evening.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. loisajay says:

    Helen–you amaze me. You put so much thought into your photographs and your explanations. You noticed that I just put mine out there and said, “Raj. Help!” My favorite is the little boy at the picnic table. I so look forward to Raj’s comments. Thanks for introducing us!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Lois. Like I told Amy, I have a problem… inside of me, there is this question generator, which I can’t turn off. So, it always takes me longer to fully understand any subject… Sometime, it’s annoying; sometime fun. 😉
      My neighbor built our deck recently. It is an unfinished deck in that photo. Anyway, his young kid was not allowed to climb all the way up on the ladder. It was fun to see him inched up with a huge smile on his face 😉
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Raj says:

    Kindly note I am on travel mode. I will reply tomorrow.. btw great posts Helen ✌👍

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Raj says:

    Thanks Helen, for your contribution to the “Frames” topic. Sorry for the delayed response. Just got back home.

    Pic 1: Nice attempt to frame a tower in a medieval setup! Your intention is just right to take advantage of the shadowed buildings as a frame. But in this pic, the subject is a tower, so you have to make sure that viewers don’t get attracted to the surrounding buildings. In this case, I am afraid that users will still look at the surroundings just as the tower. I feel You needed to zoom a bit that way only the edges of the surrounding buildings are shown to achieve the frame. A Little bit of blurring on the foreground buildings could also work better. Having said that it’s a great picture, if you did not think about frames at all.

    Pic 2: Interesting framing on you great nephew. Firstly I wanted to see both his eyes. Probably you should have taken this shot with eye level. Since you wanted him to be the center of attraction, you should have tried wide apertures. Also to frame him with black and white, why not include bit more space around him? In this pic except for the grass behind his head, all other area looks like a color picture even though his Dad wearing black and white trouser.

    Pic 3: The green grass, can this be considered as a frame? No, it can’t. It’s just the background here. How about the foreground? Yes, it is. It would look still better if you could include another side too. That wold create a interesting story.

    Pic 4: Yes it’s an excellent framing; the black backgrounds always make a right frame.

    Pic 5: The brown background (top part) can serve as a frame if your subject is the book. It can also be a frame for the candle if you did take this shot from bit lower angle, that way the candle is positioned in the middle with the book as background. In this pic, the candle is the subject and book is the background. Picture, as it is, looks good with the subject and the complementing background.
    To frame one does not have to overthink. It will simply confuse you more. Just compose the shot and see the composition helps the subject or not? If not, change angles find out if you could utilize some foreground objects to make a frame.

    This critical review is part of XDrive Photography Learning sessions. Thank you for participation.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you for your critic, Raj. I appreciate them.
      Pic 1: You are right! I see it now. Thanks.

      Pic 2:
      >> In this pic except for the grass behind his head, all other area looks like a color picture even though his Dad wearing black and white trouser.

      I have converted the rest of the photo to black and white in Photoshop (select the boy and inverse selection). My Photoshop skill definitely needs improvement 😉 Also, maybe if I darken it (other than my great nephew) , it would be more clear. Maybe.

      Pic 3:
      Because where I was, there wasn’t a way to include another side of the deck (the rail was not installed yet). The original photo was in landscape mode, so we would see a lot of deck. Remembering you have said that you would fill about 60 to 70 percent of the frame with the subject, I changed it to portrait mode and cropped the photo to make the boy larger. ;-(. This is a good one for me to play more.

      Pic 4:
      I think I had too many corks in the glass, and the corks are not well arranged. The moment I posted the photo on my blog, I noticed it, but I decided to take a note and let this post go. This happened to me before: while working on the photo, I didn’t see anything wrong, but as soon as I posted it, all the mistake jumped out. ;-(

      Pic 5:
      I began to realize that sometime it is hard for viewers to know your stories, and sometime even ourselves don’t realize what our story is until, maybe, two or three days later. I wanted to take this photo and it, actually, turned out the way I have visioned. Both the book and the candle are my subjects. I got the candle from a church, and the book is Buddhist scripts. I believe people with different religions have no reason not to get along. And that was my intended story 😉

      Thank you very much! I learned a lot!

      Have a great evening.


      • Raj says:

        Pic 2: No I am not talking about the black and white conversion. I am saying; picture needed more black & white area around the boy to make the viewer realize what you are trying to accomplish.

        Pic 3: That is the best you could do in that situation.

        Pic 5: Story beautifully told.
        Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Learn Photography – 7 – Frame your subject. – XDrive

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