A still camera (and yes, I mean Smart phone) is a terrific device for practising framing. Let’s take this picture and make it a bit better:

Often we place the subject in the middle of the frame because that’s where the auto focus is going to work best. Sure, the green plant constrasts nicely with the blue water and neutral rocks, but we can better the framing.

Using Rule of Thirds, we move the plant to left side of frame… but another plant shows up on the right. The dandelion is bright in colour too, so now we have two subjects in the frame battling for attention. Maybe moving the green plant to left was not the right choice.

That’s better. With this framing I ensure the view looks where I want the view to look. But it’s still not optimal, is it? The horizon is a bit crooked, isn’t it? There’s another distracting element. See how the top of the plant touches the horizon? The intersection creates a focal point, and the eye is drawn to it. We want the eye to take in the whole plant, not just the tip. So, how about this?

Better? I think so. Sometimes it takes a little time with a stationary subject to explore framing until you get the photo you want.

Cheers & happy framing to you,

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Deb Patz is the author of “Write! Shoot! Edit! A Complete Guide to Filmmaking for Teens” (new in 2017) and “Film Poduction Management 101” both published by MWP Books. She took these pictures on her cell phone in beautiful PEI.

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
Jul.30-Aug.3 – Panelist – UFVA Conference, Los Angeles, CA