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How to use Framing in Urban Environment


What is Framing?

Framing means creating photo-within-a-photo effect. The photos captured are “self-contained”. Basically, we are bifurcating outer-most frame into smaller frames to intentionally bring/guide attention to the subject.

Photographers often apply positioning and perspective techniques to create a space and line to bring viewer’s focus onto the subject and add narrative to their photographs. It won’t be wrong to say that a photographer’s world is only what he sees through the viewfinder.


Hands Framing New York Harbor- ©source


How to apply framing in photos?

Framing helps in wrapping more mundane areas of an image and makes the subject stand out. It makes good use of design skills to increase impact of the image.

For an urban setting, always look for windows, doors, hallways,etc. There are plenty of those around in an urban environment. Such frames provide perspective and guides viewers’ attention right onto the subject, making your photographs impactful and eye-catchy.

Barriers, fencing, stairs, etc. can also act as great frames for photographs. Both content and narrative of a photograph are improved with this simple technique.


Framing Shapes

Considering doors and windows, rectangle & square are the shapes that strike first. They surely are great for framing technique, but framing is not limited to them only.

A plenty of other interesting shapes and frames that can be used for the purpose exist around you in urban settings. You just need to be aware enough to identify and use them for your benefit. Like an oval shape (a train window maybe) or circular/curved shape can be great.

Architectural photography can help you create unconventional photographs. Just blend the architectural photography & framing techniques together. Make use of perspective, lines, contrast offered by the buildings in frame to capture wonderful pictures of otherwise not-so-interesting things. You just need to think creatively. After all photography is a visual art and like all other art-forms, photography too thrives on creativity.


©Black and White House by Scott Ableman- source


©Laurie Flickinger- source


©Laurie Flickinger- source


Keep It Real

Framing is no-doubt a great technique to capture awesome images. But, keep in mind that all photos are not meant to be framed. Many subjects are captured best when they stand alone.

You just need to take some time to analyze the scene, think differently and respond creatively. Trust your instincts and have a ‘inventive’ approach towards the scene.

Don’t focus too much on framing, otherwise you might eliminate some interesting elements that might have enhanced & added value to your photos. Never “force” a frame in an image or you might end up ruining an otherwise great composition.

If you feel that the natural beauty and attraction of a scene is being complimented by the technique, what’s holding you back? Keep your mind open to the idea, and look for opportunities.



Well, there you go! That’s all I had to share. Don’t forget to drop a comment down below if this post helped you in some way or if you’d like me to write about something or maybe just to say hi!

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