June 4, 2010

composition in photography – framing the shot

In composing a photograph, what you exclude from the frame, is as important as what you include.  With this portrait of Anelisa, I noticed that at this angle, the light reflecting off the black-painted wall created a warm glow of light behind her.  With the receding lines of the bricks, I immediately composed the photo to exclude everything but our model and the specific background.  A very specific background. Looking at the edges of the camera’s viewfinder, I eliminated everything that could distract or didn’t add to the image, such as the shop fronts in the background.  (This image could perhaps still be tightened up with a minor crop in the edit.  But this is the full frame as I had it in the camera, so I had to go with the usual 2:3 ratio.)

The lighting?
Just the sunlight reflecting off the sidewalk that flooded the area with warm soft light.


help support this website

{ 8 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Tom K. June 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Who is Jeremy Miracle?
Tom K.

PS Brilliant shot.


2 Neil vN June 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Jeremy attended the workshop in New York, and I grabbed his camera to demonstrate this shot. I see now his copyright info still appears.

Neil vN


3 Chip June 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Wow, I really like this shot– it’s mesmerizing. Love the pose and the concept. I notice the big shift in color temp across the model, but it doesn’t bother me.


4 Matt Heath June 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Great shot, while on this subject, may I ask when you are framing a shot, do you always keep in mind the cropping issue the sensor ratio creates? Let me explain… If I take a shot, say the one above for instance, if I wanted to print that as a 8×10 I would have to crop the photo, shortening the longest edge, therefor losing the original composition I had in camera. Does that make sense? So when composing your shots do you keep in mind the cropping that occurs when printing and allow a little breathing space? I use a D300s that has a DX sensor, maybe your D3’s sensor are a different ratio? Hope that makes sense!

Best regards



5 Jeremy Miracle June 5, 2010 at 10:15 am

Sorry Neil – I meant to warn you about the (incorrect) copyright when I sent the file – I’m not sure how to edit that. Great shot and its nice to know what my camera is capable of in the right hands – now I have no more excuses.


6 Stephen June 5, 2010 at 11:45 am

There are several EXIF programs that can strip or alter the copyright data from the image. I use ExifTool (command line tool) on my Mac (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/), but Neil’s workflow may already have a way to do this.


7 Matt Heath July 27, 2010 at 3:32 am

Hi Neil, did you see my question above? Its still something I find difficult, the problem of not being able to print the composition you create in camera, am I missing something here? just wondered how you deal with this?

Many thanks



8 Neil vN July 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

Matt, I did see your question, but I’m still not sure what you’re asking, or what you perceive as a “cropping issue”.

So I see a composition that makes more sense as a square. I photograph it. And I crop it. No drama. I still sleep at night. : )

Neil vN


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: