what is the ‘frame’ and why should you fill it
In a nutshell, the ‘frame’ refers to the edges of your photograph. To ‘fill the frame’ means to get in close, to make your subject a significant portion of the final image.
Filling the frame adds instant impact to your image. You’ve excluded the unnecessary distracting background elements and have given your subject a ratio of the frame that is directly related to his or her importance. Filling the frame encourages you, as a photographer, to really spend time thinking about your subject and how best to feature that subject in your photograph.
Filling the frame also encourages you as a photographer, to really spend time thinking about your subject and how best to feature that subject in your photograph.
why does filling the frame work
Two reasons that filling the frame work so well are:
By filling the frame with your subject you leave no doubt about what the focal point of your image is. Any details that might steal the spotlight are eliminated. This is one of the reasons macro and close-up photography is so interesting—we see details we are not usually aware. Think about photos of the elderly, the lines and wrinkles on their faces, and the stories that they tell. Alternatively, the fresh young skin and faces of young ones… These types of details are important.
Backgrounds are often cluttered with information that is not relevant to the subject and only diverts attention. As with details above, being visually close to a subject or situation helps the viewer to feel physically close and emotionally connected, and of course, it allows us to see expressions and details that we’d otherwise miss.
As with rules #1 and #2, the fill the frame rule is just a guideline. It won’t work for all images, but don’t be afraid to move in close, and then move in closer again to see if your subject has the makings of a ‘fill the frame’ image.
Looking for the first installment in this series? You’ll find #1 the rule of thirds here.
And you’ll find #2 framing here.
In the comments, I’d love to see:
Your favourite fill the frame image. What photo have you taken that fills the frame and really tells a story for you?