It’s a Frame Up – by Jack Kurtz

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A passenger looks out the window of the bus he's a passenger on as another bus in Yangon passes his bus.
A passenger looks out the window of the bus he’s a passenger on as another bus in Yangon passes his bus.

One of the things I like to do when I’m photographing is layer my images, usually by framing them so you’re eye travels around the picture from foreground to background. Sometimes there’s a big element of luck involved, in the top picture, for example, I was riding at the front of the bus, photographing the driver and some of the passengers when we passed another bus. I looked over and made one frame and the moment, where everything lined up so well, was gone.

A drummer at the Vegetarian Festival is framed by cart he was being pulled through Bangkok on.
A drummer at the Vegetarian Festival is framed by cart he was being pulled through Bangkok on.

Sometimes the framing works on multiple levels. In the picture above, the drummer’s warm skin tones are picked up with the red in the cart, at the same time, the yellow embroidery in his shirt mimics the yellow accent colors on the cart and the banners hanging over the street.

I photographed demolition workers tearing down a neighborhood of cheap bars, run down hotels and faded cabaret theaters in Bangkok (it’s being turned into another high end shopping mall) and I liked the way the entrance to a theater framed the work going on inside.

Heavy equipment works inside an abandoned cabaret theater in Bangkok.
Heavy equipment works inside an abandoned cabaret theater in Bangkok.

When I’m photographing, I use the layered approach as much as I can. It adds depth to the photo and helps set up a way for the viewers’ eye to wander around the frame.

A photo made at an ordination of Buddhist monks. A monk stands in the doorway of a temple's ordination hall during the ordination ceremony.
A photo made at an ordination of Buddhist monks. A monk stands in the doorway of a temple’s ordination hall during the ordination ceremony.