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You’ve been framed!

I haven’t had time this month to take new photos for Jude’s challenge, so I’ve turned to the archives for this selection that illustrate the use of man-made frames in composition.


About the feature photo, above: This is horizontal because I wanted to capture the symmetry of the alcoves with their matching lamps at right and left. The diminishing horizontal/vertical beams frame the garden at the end. This is the Reef House Hotel, Palm Cove, QLD, Australia.


Below is one of my favourite framed photos. Jude says “portrait-shaped pictures (vertical orientation) tend to relate to foreground and background subject elements” although here I’ve gone for a landscape orientation in order to include more of the metal arch. Nonetheless, I believe the viewer’s eye is drawn from foreground to background as the buildings get smaller with distance. I like how the point of the arch complements the point of the tower it frames.

Manhattan, looking south from the top of the Rockefeller Centre


This more traditional portrait orientation slowly leads you from foreground to background, aided by the contrast of darker, shadowed foreground with bright background. The eye is pulled through the rectangular foreground opening, through the invitingly open gate in the middle ground, and into the background courtyard with its host of intriguing objects.

A courtyard in New Orleans


Here, the blurred foreground serves only to frame the circle through which the subject of the photo is viewed. From what I recall, a vertical orientation wouldn’t have worked because above and below that metal plate were distracting elements that would have drawn attention from the locomotive.

A locomotive at the Pine Creek Railway Museum, NT, Australia


The symmetry of the architecture and the line of hanging lights, diminishing in size with distance, are framed by a single arch, starkly white against the rich red wall. A vertical line runs through the point of the arch and the line of the lights, drawing your eye to the far end of the corridor. I think this vertical composition helps to emphasise the length of the corridor.

A corridor in the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London.

Posted as part of Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge with the subject of Framing

Manhattan from Top of the Rock

Looking south over Manhattan from the top of the Rockefeller building.

Looking south over Manhattan from the top of the Rockefeller building.

I couldn’t resist framing this vista of Manhattan’s skyscrapers through the iron arches along the top of the Rockefeller building. I loved the contrast of old and new.


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