All About Framing and Cropping in Photography

All About Framing and Cropping in Photography

You must have read a large number of articles about composition, lenses, and other aspects of photography so far. If we have to list down the most important aspects of photography here, framing and cropping will also make it to the list.

In fact, these two elements are more important than you think. As photography is all about telling stories, it is very important for you to take care of the elements to be included in the frame. This article is going to help you learn about framing and cropping in photography.

So, let us start this discussion with framing first. There are some reasons why you should care about framing first. 

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What is framing?

You may simply call framing a composition technique to decide the inclusion of elements inside the frame. This is done to draw the attention of the users to the subject. Having too many things inside the frame will drive the viewers away from the main subject.

This is why you need to be careful about avoiding distractions so that your subject can be perceived in the most authentic way. This is exactly where framing is going to help you. The exact position of framing can be either near or along the edges, at the center, or anywhere else.

It all depends on the way you want to use your subject inside the frame. We are now done with the basics, it is time to help you get started with some tips.

Tips to help you frame your photos like a pro

The same subject looks magical in one image while dull in the other. Framing plays a significant role in such cases. But you will be able to express the very best of your subject with the right framing. 

Start with the subject

An ideal process of framing starts right from your subject. Once you have decided on your subject, it is time to find the right way to portray it in the image. And choosing the right way depends a lot on your subject. You are free to include different elements but the subject needs to dominate the picture at last. 

Coming to the position of the subject, it needs not to be in the centre every time. Whenever it comes to positioning your subject, consider sticking to the rule of thirds. It will help you a lot in drawing the viewer's attention to the subject. 

Adhering to this rule would help you a lot in making the right use of guiding lines. Use the natural lines to help viewers reach the subject in an elegant way. 

Leave some space in the frame as per the subject

Suppose your subject is a kid running around on a beach. You have to frame this subject in a way that there is some space in front of the kid. Making such arrangements means you are guiding the viewers about the direction in which the kid is running.

The same rule applies while photographing other moving objects i.e. cars, bikes, etc. 

Have an eye for depth of field

This is another important thing to consider when you are thinking about framing and cropping in photography. Don't forget to put your camera in the aperture priority mode before you get started with it. Imagine if you want to take a picture of your puppy in the garden.

If you want a puppy in the background, include some strands of grass or anything like that in the foreground to bring this effect. Keep the puppy in focus, this isn't meant to be landscape photography here. You may find objects to be included for bringing depth to the frame. 

Examples of choosing cropping for photography

Let us talk about cropping

Now that we have talked much about framing it is time to discuss cropping. Framing is essential in the beginning because you need to feel the frame elegantly first then comes cropping. In simple terms, cropping is the process of adjusting the edges of a photograph.

And there are several reasons for doing it. In some cases, the photographers do it to remove distractions while in other cases they do it to maintain the aspect ratio, etc. No matter what your reasons are, you have to be better at it. Here is a complete set of tips to help you master this skill. 

The right way to crop photos

There are some things worth caring about when it comes to cropping an image. In order to help you avoid difficulties in the beginning, we are providing enough tips to get it done the right way. Let us take a look at some tips to do it the better way. 

Crop photos to make it meaningful

Suppose your dog is chasing a ball. And if you crop the ball from the frame, this photo will not be as meaningful. In fact, it would be a spoiled version of the reality that you have captured.

Make sure to avoid such mistakes. Cropping will help you only when you cut out the unnecessary details. 

Avoid keeping the subject in the centre all the time

There are certain conditions when it is necessary to put the subject in the middle, such as portrait photography, however even in that case, it is not typically compulsory. Instead, you should focus on the rule of thirds when it comes to positioning the subject properly in the frame.

Cropping will be helpful to you only when the subject is positioned in a way that it draws the viewer's attention quickly. 

Leave some space in the frame

This is one of the most important things to know about framing and cropping in photography. There must be some room to breathe.

It means you don't have to crop out the space in a way that the frame is left with the subject only. Whether the subject is a face or something else, having enough room in the frame gives some context to the viewers. 

Final words

Learning the essentials of framing and cropping in photography is something dynamic. There is no universal rule that applies everywhere.

You will learn a lot about it based on the specific subjects you choose. It is a constant learning process and you will learn a lot along the way. Be open to applying new rules as the needs demand.


About the Author

Andrew Conway is an amateur photographer and keen writer. Andrew is in his last year of his Journalism degree in University.