The difference between framing and composition

JJWP362In a recent post we tackled the difference between “form” and “shape.” Oftentimes they are used similarly, but now we know they are two distinct concepts. This time we differentiate “framing” from “composition” which are also used comparatively. But one is not synonymous with the other. Framing is when you move your camera, pointing it up or down, or panning it from side to side to get that point of view or perspective. Or, you yourself go on the move – you bend, crouch, lie down, go on your side, go up on a vantage point, raise your camera above your head – all these physical efforts to get the best angle. Once you get that angle you are looking for, then you compose your shot. Composing is simply arranging the elements that you have framed. This requires thinking. You now draw knowledge from your cerebral vault all that you have read, the tips and techniques you’ve learned. If it’s a landscape shot, you know that to be effective you need a great background, a good middle ground and an eye-catching foreground as subject to serve as focal point. Composing is eliminating and simplifying. Take away the clutter and the unnecessary. Focus on the point of interest. For the trained photographer, composition will not require much thought. It becomes almost a reflex action, because he knows what to look out for in his composition – something interesting and engaging – the visual elements of colors, lines, shapes, forms, textures, patterns and light. Framing is the preliminary. Composing is where you put the elements together. Now, how effectively you placed these elements in relation to each other will either make or break the image. That’s how critical composition is. For further reading, I recommend this article How To Compose Photos Instead of Just Framing Them from PhotographyTalk. Have a great week ahead my blogger friends!


4 responses

  1. Good article!

    January 28, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Much thanks Chillbrook!

      January 29, 2013 at 2:03 am

  2. thanks for sharing this knowledge…I am new in Photography so it will help

    February 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    • Junsjazz

      Glad to share something we can all learn. Thanks Kavita!

      February 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

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