Understanding Composition: Filling your Frame

March 25, 2011 · 1 comment

in Equipment,Food,portraiture,Tutorials

Often I look at other people’s photographs, and find myself squinting to see the subject matter that is so tiny in the frame. One of the simplest principles of photography is to fill your frame.  It’s so easy, so there is no excuse for not doing just that.

Zoom: Practically all ‘point and shoot’ cameras come with a zoom lens, and all SLR cameras can be fitted with a zoom lens. No excuse.

Move forwards: Legs are pretty useful things, they can get you closer to your subject matter. Don’t be lazy!

Crop: Cropping your image in image editing software is also an option, but this should only be used for basic trimming and straightening.

Filling your frame creates a wonderful sense of intimacy, which allows the viewer to connect with your image.

Photographing People

When photographing people, there are two important elements to consider. You want to get close enough to show facial expressions, but you also want to get enough background to put the person in context with the environment they are in. Play around to see what the perfect balance is, as it will differ from one portrait to another.

Photographing Stills

As with filling the frame with your people shots, do the same with stills. Cut out the clutter, and zoom into the subject matter. Only leave enough background space to assist in “telling the story”.


Remember to consider other elements of composition, such as the Rule of Thirds.

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