Doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out in photography or you’ve been at it for years, there are a couple of terms you’re bound to hear again and again. The most notable of those — framing and composition.
Every good photographer will tell you that you don’t need as much gear to be good at photography as you need skill. Sure you get that great clarity and shallow depth of field but in the end, your picture has to tell a story and that story can’t just be told by an expensive camera alone.
Among the few basic skills needed to make a good picture, are framing and composition. These two form the core of your picture and everything else just follows along. Let’s talk about both of them in detail.
Starting off with what I feel is the more important of the two; framing, in layman terms, is the process of deciding what’s going to be in the frame.
It’s as simple as that. All you need to do is just look through the viewfinder and decide what you’re going to capture in the frame. It seems simple, but it’s got more depth than you might think. You don’t always have to frame the shot while you’re taking it. You can crop it later as well. Point is, by eliminating unnecessary details and placing the subject at a strategic point can help the image tell a more compelling story than what it otherwise would.
There are a lot of different ways you can frame your shot. The rule of thirds, the golden ratio and numerous other cropping methods allow you to trim down your frame and get your subject in a spot where it will automatically capture the viewer’s eyes.
Every time you’re clicking a picture, or working on it in post-production, make sure to ask yourself what is adding to the picture and what is taking away detail from it. Once you start capturing and editing with that mindset, with enough practice and time, you’ll be able to create masterpieces from photos that look seemingly ordinary.
Framing gives rise to composition. Both of them are very closely related and yet, are different. There’s a very thin line between the two but remember, both serve their own purpose. Composition, in general, is simply deciding what to fill your frame with, where to place those elements so as to make the frame look appealing.
If this seems exactly what framing did, wait until you’re actually trying to implement them in a picture. As you go on to click more and more pictures, you’ll realise that while a lot of times you’d find the perfect frame for a picture, it might not be as easy to arrange all those things inside the frame for getting the story that you want.
Composition is even more important in cinematography than in photography. Remember the rule of thirds? That basic rule applies here and serves as a base guideline for people to better understand human psychology and come up with better creations.
Of course, photographers, like other artists like to break rules from time to time. Sometimes, clicking an unconventional picture can aid a lot more than hardcoded techniques that tell you to do things a specific way.
If you’re doing video, the composition also helps you learn a lot about camera movement and subject placement. One wrong move can ruin the entire footage that you shot and then you’ll have to start from the top.
There’s a reason several photos stand out from the others, even if they’re of the same subject clicked by the same photographer — it’s all about framing and camera composition. Once you get in the groove, there are hundreds of shots and techniques to pull off. However, as you learn and progress as a photographer or filmmaker, you’ll learn to incorporate these rules in your style and that’s what it’s all about.
Also read: Top 7 mobile photography tips
Featured image by Caio Resende