Monday, July 6, 2009

Framing 2

You'll find over the course of these blog postings, that I have repeated certain titles and just put a 2 after them. That's either because I'm not through exploring the idea that inspired the first post, or the universe keeps handing me that same message and so I have to go back to it again because there's something for me there. This time, my daughter was channeling the universe's message about framing. She's studying environmental science and land use management for two weeks at governor's school (we are proud of her!) and when we were hiking through the pine barrens yesterday, she told me that one of her guest lecturers was a nature photographer who told them (among other things) to frame their photos with something in nature. And what a coincidence, my last two posts were about framing and foreground. I've been considering the ground to help with my vertigo. The framing concept ties together my love of castles in the air with my newly found appreciation of the ground. Framing anchors your subject and gives your photo focus. The frame creates a "ground". The frame defines your viewpoint. So you have to choose your frame and your subject carefully. Sometimes you're given the subject, so you choose the frame. Sometimes you find them together. I intend to explore this further, but I'm suspecting that it's the less frequent occurrence that you create a frame and use that to find your subject.

So, to be less theoretical about it. Here are some examples of what I mean. The photo above is a cormorant on my lake log with turtles, framed by the wild irises on the bank. Below, I have the cormorant drying it's wings and then the turtle that took the cormorant's place when she dove away. They were the subject, that's the story, but the framed photo draws you in, and if I had to choose one, that's the one I'd choose to tell the complete story at once.

And here are three other examples of framing, featuring my little girl and a little frog that her father caught for her. The subject is the frog, but the framing describes different stories.
  1. frog in her hand, she's the story, you see the hand first, the story is my daughter holding a frog
  2. cute frog is the story, the hand is the frame, the frog is the focus, this puts us more in the woods checking out nature, and is less about our daughter
  3. if you can find the frog, this shows how camoflauged the frog can be, and reminds me how deftly she can hear the frogs and catch them (though this time she asked her father to do it.)
To me the best photo is technically number 2. Clear subject, clear frame. I'm taking that as the message of the day. I'm going to frame my projects carefully and clearly so the story is complete in one pass and easy to grasp if you're interested.

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