When I think of framing, I think of my image hanging on the wall with a nice mat and frame to show it off. However, there are other methods of framing an image: in the viewfinder, using foreground elements to "frame" the subject. While photographing in Central Park in New York, my attention was drawn to two arches. I liked the way they repeated each other, giving vanishing-point feel with the foreground arch being much larger than the background arch. I patiently waited for the people to move through, when another photographer with a similar idea stepped into the frame (Figure 4.14). Liking the sense of scale (Chapter 6) that the photographer added to the image, I quickly clicked off a few shots. Framing can be a very effective use of elements to highlight the subject. Be careful not to use it too heavily, or it becomes the focus of the photograph.
Figure 4.14 The photographer changed the effect of the image I was composing from a simple graphic to a framed composition. The giant arches framed the smaller photographer and added a sense of scale to the image that would not have happened without him in the frame.
Using the foliage to frame the trees in Muir Woods in California creates a sense of looking through a peephole (Figure 4.15).
Figure 4.15 I mounted my camera on a tripod to enable me to shoot at a smaller aperture to render sharp focus on both the foliage and the trees beyond and still keep my ISO low, which resulted in a slow shutter speed.
Teardrop Arch is an iconic subject that has been photographed over and over (Figure 4.16). Many people use a vertical composition to fill the frame with the rock wall, using the arch to reveal Monument Valley in the distance through the arch. Looking for a slightly different composition, I turned my camera to a horizontal composition and zoomed back to include the edge of the arch. I like the effect of part of the image framed and part of it wide open. I think it adds to the sense of place.
Figure 4.16 With no place to set up a tripod and needing a fairly small aperture for increased depth of field, I braced myself using proper hand-holding techniques to shoot at a slow shutter speed.