When it comes to photography there are so many techniques and tips to remember that it can be overwhelming at least initially. As with most things the more you practice these techniques the more they become second nature. Today I’d like to discuss using secondary subjects to “frame” your primary subject.
For this article I will be using some images that I took of an abandoned gold mine located near Victor, CO.
Looking at this image there are a few things that can easily be identified. First thing that pops out to me is the fact that it was shot straight on from a standing position. Even though the mine is clearly uphill from where I shot the photo, it’s clear that the camera is several feet above the ground.
Another thing that doesn’t really work for me on this image is the lack of depth-of-field (DOF). Without DOF the weeds in the foreground are distracting and take away some of the attention from the main subject. One saving grace is the fact that the road provides a bit of a leading line that helps draw attention to the mine.
So outside of cropping this photo and maybe some vignette, there’s not a lot that would make this photo one that I’d consider to be be interesting. So let’s take a look at shot of the same mine but “framed”.
There are various buildings located at the site. As I walked around I found one building that provided a unique view of the same mine. As you can see in the photo using the door opening I was able to “frame” the mine which provides a much more interesting look. While I was able to do some post-processing to help bring out some of the interior of the shack, I always wished that I had used a flash.
The next photo, while not the same mine, provides a perfect example of the benefit of a fill flash.
By using a fill flash for this photo there were a couple of benefits. Notice how the light helped to accentuate the wood of the door frame. Because it as situated close to the middle of the door frame it creates somewhat of a natural vignette. Another benefit of the the fill light is that it allows proper exposure in the shack as well as outside of the shack.
Admittedly, framing is not option for every shot, however it’s another tool to keep in your bag of tricks. It can take an ordinary shot and make it a nice shot.