Sub-framing is one of the most powerful techniques to bring the attention of your viewer straight in to the story.
It involves using a frame within the frame to draw attention to the subject and create a sense of depth and context in the photograph. By enclosing the subject within a secondary frame, such as a doorway, window, or archway, the photographer can create a more dynamic and engaging composition than just a flat photo without any framing in it.
Subframing is a versatile technique that can be used in a variety of photographic genres, from landscape and architecture photography to portrait and street photography. It can be used to create a sense of scale, isolate the subject from distracting elements in the background, and add visual interest and depth to the photograph.
When using subframing, it’s important to consider the size, shape, and placement of the frame within the frame. The frame should be large enough to create a sense of enclosure around the subject, but not so large that it overwhelms the image. The placement of the frame within the frame should also be considered, as it can affect the viewer’s perception of the subject and the overall composition.
The choice of lens and focal length can also affect the use of subframing in a photograph. Wide-angle lenses can be used to capture expansive views that incorporate the frame within the frame, while longer focal lengths can be used to isolate the subject within the frame and create a more intimate composition.
Subframing can also be combined with other composition techniques, such as the use of leading lines or
Let’s review few popular Subframing styles
Classic sub framing – Classic subframing involves using doorways or windows as natural frames within your composition. By positioning your subject within the doorway or window frame, you create a sense of depth and context, while also drawing the viewer’s eye towards the subject. The door or window frame can also provide a sense of structure to the image, creating a sense of balance and symmetry. This technique is commonly used in portrait photography, but can be applied to other genres as well.
Natural Frames – Natural frames are created by using elements in the environment, such as trees, rocks, or archways, to frame the subject. This technique is often used in landscape photography and can create a sense of depth and scale in the photograph.
Architectural Frames – Architectural frames are created by using man-made elements, such as doors, windows, or arches, to frame the subject. This technique is often used in architectural and street photography and can create a sense of context and scale in the photograph.
Negative Space Frames – Negative space frames are created by using empty space around the subject to frame it. This technique can be used to create a minimalist composition that draws attention to the subject.
Using light (Chiaroscuro) – This technique works mostly in a well lit environment . You will have to set your camera exposure to the highlights in the scene and let the shadows go in to dark , later in post processing you can increase contrast which will turn the dark parts to almost black and create dramatic frame . The key for the technique is to have something interesting happening in the bright area.
And now few less popular styles
In fact with sub-framing you are limited only by your imagination , you don’t have to be locked on a technique or particular style . Use your eyes and visualize , you will find many interesting ones.
let me share with you few examples
Using pattern of hands
Using geometrical figures
Using objects – Let’s say something like a mirror
Even a minor can be a frame with your Hero in it.
There are endless objects that can be used, there is really no limitation.