Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Photography tips: Fill the frame

The most useful tip I got during my very very early photography days was to move closer. That’s useful, too much background gives a pic a snapshottish feel, and we would like to avoid that.

Now, let us take this tip a step further and move even closer. Move so close that the outer parts of your subject are no longer in the picture. Your subject is now filling the frame. Obviously, you can reach this result by cropping afterwards, but it’s much more fun to do it while composing your picture.

Filling the frame is the obvious thing to do when photographing a large number of small objects or a textured surface. It is also fairly common in photographing flowers, models, stills and architectural details. Why not try using it in a totally different context? Rules are only there to be broken.

In model photography, we have the advantage that the face has a natural frame. Normally (but again, it’s okay to break rules), we would not fill the entire frame with the fac, as we would loose too many facial features. We can however fill the frame with hair (and maybe some neck), to keep the shape of the face while loosing the background entirely.

More resources:

Examples from DPChallenge’s ‘Fill the Frame III’ contest

When to fill the frame and when not to
An alternative approach to filling the frame

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