composition – framing the shot

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.

8 Comments, Add Your Own

  1. 3 says

    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.

  2. 4Matt Heath says

    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


  3. 5Jeremy Miracle says

    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.

  4. 7Matt Heath says

    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


  5. 8Neil vN says

    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

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