#22 in the Judging a Photograph Series
It’s always nice to find new ideas for making photos more interesting. I do love to use frames in an image. A frame is something within the photo that holds the edges. We “read” images just the same way we read text, i.e. left to right. That means it’s a good idea to give a bit of thought to edges. Think especially about the right hand edge of the photo. Many photographers like to put something dark at the very edge like a full stop. This might be a tree trunk or a wall or just a dark shadow. The idea is that when someone looks at the image, their eye is held within it and doesn’t slide off the edge.
Finding Frames in Knaresborough
Knaresborough in North Yorkshire has a railway viaduct with views through the arches to charming cottages ranged up the side of the gorge. The whole town is a photographer’s paradise. There’s a castle, a river, rowing boats, a marketplace, old bridges, little snickets and cobbled alleyways, ancient architecture and rustic pubs. For photographers the main advantage is the gorge. It gives such lot of choices of different heights and angles for photos.
These photos are taken from the Mother Shipton side of the river Nidd. In June the cottages just peep out from among the willows and ivy in full leaf.
I tried to capture this green view first of all. In the first picture above, just the edge of the arch and the dangling ivy make a soft frame. The contrast is quite low which means there is not much impression of depth.
In this second image I used the hard frame of one arch around the whole image. It’s more striking. The sky is nice and blue because the centre of the photo is exposed correctly. It works well in black and white too, but for that I did choose to lighten the stonework. If I hadn’t, there would have been too much black overall.
Notice the little band of light across the grass in the foreground. It’s quite effective, like an underline.
I did wonder whether to brighten up the exposure to show the stonework texture of the arch, but as you can see from the shot below, it doesn’t work. It’s washed out, especially the sky. The feeling of depth is lost too. I’ve got further tips about exposing the sky – click here.
Contrast is usually the big decision when using something in an image to make a frame. Your framing object will probably be the darkest part of the image. It would be easiest to get the rest of the image exposed correctly and then the frame can be as dark as you like. If you like the frame itself and expose for that, then you would have to accept that the remainder of the image will perhaps become washed out.
What have you used to make frames in photos, and did you like the effect? Let me know in the comments below.
Read the previous blog in the Judging a Photograph series by clicking here.
Read the Judging a Photograph series from the start by clicking here.