Frame Within a Frame

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Buddha Statue in Bagan
A Buddha statue in one of the many temples in Bagan, Burma.


A very simple way to mix things up in your images and create compositions that are a bit more intriguing is to break away from the confines of the standard rectangular frame that we’re all so accustomed to seeing when viewing photographs. Using doorways, windows and archways in your compositions can work in many ways to enhance your images.

By framing your subject you help lead the viewer’s gaze directly to the subject and keep the viewer’s gaze there. A frame such as the archway in the picture of the Buddha statue above can also help to add some context to your image by giving a sense of the surroundings and environment where this statue is located.  Finding frames with interesting shapes can also spice up your image as you give the viewer a refreshing change from the standard rectangular photograph that comes out of your camera.

As you’re out photographing keep an eye out for doorways, windows, and other possible frames that you can use.  If there’s no subject readily available then try one of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s strategies and set up your camera and wait.  You never know when the perfect subject may pass through your frame.