How To Fill The Frame With The Subject
Fill the frame. In photography that means that your subject should occupy the entire photograph.
Either zoom in, or move in close enough, so that the object that your shooting will fill the frame.
Don’t leave the subject isolated in a vast composition.
When you’re faced with a scene try to find the most interesting object, one that’s worthy of photo itself.
Zoom into get a photo of it on it’s own, or fill the frame with it.
There may be more than one such object in the scene in front of you, so shoot them all.
Off course, if the entire scene is a good subject, shoot that also.
Sometimes it can be easy to concentrate so hard on what your doing, that you miss the surroundings.
It’s possible to include far more in the photo than you need to because you’re focused on what you’re doing.
Learn to observe properly
It may be necessary to train yourself to ensure that you don’t fail to observe properly.
If you leave a little too much space around the main subject, you can crop the image.
Leaving too much space will mean the crop is too severe.
That can result in the cropped photo being too small to be useful.
It may take some trial and error to master how to fill the frame correctly.
With digital photography this doesn’t result in wasted expensive film.
It’s simple to delete any less than perfect shots and free up memory card space.
If you don’t want to delete any photos, they won’t take up much disk space anyway.
Digital photography is better than film
While cropping will rescue a photo with surplus content, nothing will fix one that’s zoomed in too close.
If you cut off some of the subject while shooting, you’ll have to reshoot.
Always check the shot on the back screen display while you still have the option to reshoot.
If you discover the error too late, you may have missed your opportunity.
This is where digital photography has a clear advantage over film photography.
When shooting film, you have to wait until it’s developed before you can check the photographs.
Obviously if there’s a bad shot there may not be an opportunity to shoot again.
The immediacy of digital is preferable to the anticipation of film.
This has nothing to do with this article, but I took all these photos with Canon cameras.
I have four altogether and I find them brilliant.
Any photo thats not top class is down to the photographer, not the cameras.
I like shooting photographs from bridges
Back to the photos, and we’ll have a look at some.
There’s two versions of all the photos, one shot to fill the frame, and another wider shot.
When I shoot, I like to take wide shots and then zoom in on a detail for another shot.
I didn’t shoot any of these photos for this article, they were all taken in the last year, before I started this blog.
The first one shows a view of the River Shannon.
It shows a lot of water in the foreground.
In the distance there are houses.
The middle distance is entirely populated by moored boats.
The Shannon is very popular for cruising, and it’s home to many of these boats.
I shot these from a bridge, as well as several others.
For some reason I love taking photographs from bridges.
Normally I shoot some wide angle photos and then zoom in and take some close ups.
There’s a boat in the centre of this photo which is the detail that catches the eye.
I shot this with a wide angle lens at 18mm.
A few shots later I changed lenses to a mid range zoom lens, a 35 -105mm lens.
The next image is a close up of the boat in the centre of my wide angle shot.
Now, it doesn’t exactly fill the frame but it does dominate the photo. I shot it at 105mm.
I fill the frame with another boat
I’m sticking with boats for the next pair of photos. I shot both photos with the same lens.
It’s a 35-105mm Canon lens that’s about thirty years old.
It came with a Canon EOS 600 camera that I bought recently.
To shoot this photo I used it on a Canon EOS 750D digital camera.
Some old Canon lenses, from the film era, work on modern Canon digital cameras.
In the first photo, shot at 35mm, the boat is central and obviously the main subject.
The tide is out so the boat looks slightly beached, but it isn’t.
The houses in the background compete with the boat for attention.
A triangle is formed between the boat and the two prominent houses, which join them together.
The second photo was taken at 68mm and it does pretty much fill the frame.
Here there’s nothing competing with the boat for notice.
There are rocks, seaweed, and a smaller boat, but the boat has more vivid colours.
Some water behind the boat has a brighter hue, but you expect water around a boat.
From another bridge on the River Shannon
Guess what the next images show?
More boats on the River Shannon, shot from a bridge.
I used the same camera and lens combination as in the last photos.
When shooting landscape photos, often a longer shot has stronger colour than a close up.
You can see that here.
The wider shot shows four boats moored at the side of the river.
It’s just water, sky, some trees and the boats.
The boats draw your attention completely.
There’s strong colours in the other elements of the photograph.
The water and sky are blue, with the clouds and reflection well defines.
Those trees are in their full summer plumage and look magnificent.
They cast a strong reflection on the water.
The boats are the subject
However the boats are the item that grabs attention.
The lens is wide open for that shot at 35mm.
The second photo sees the lens zoomed to 80mm.
This is a close up of the four boats.
They more or less fill the frame from side to side but not from top to bottom.
With there being four of them rather than one, they’re now competing for notice.
Other elements around them, barely noticeable in the first photo, are also grabbing attention here.
You have to look hard to see the bridge in the wide shot, not so in the close up.
The trees also look more individual here while they look less so in the other image.
A cliff on the West Coast of Ireland
I’ll leave boats there but I have some more photos featuring water.
These were taken on the north coast of Co. Mayo. While this cliff is facing north, it’s part of the west coast of Irealnd.
The west coast is facing the Atlantic Ocean.
With it being constantly battered by waves I expect that’s why there’s so many cliffs along it.
The Cliffs of Moher are the best known ones, but they’re definitely not the only ones.
The wide angle shoe here was taken at 18mm.
The cliff is the eye catching part of this shot.
Apart from that there’s nothing in the photo that looks in anyway special.
There’s a lot of cloud in the sky but the detail is largely absent.
The sea is just a vast open space filled with water.
With a blue sky it would have much more colour, but here it just looks drab.
In the close up photo shot at 55mm, everything looks better.
The cliff doesn’t totally fill the frame, but it definitely hogs the limelight.
At the bottom of the cliff the sea has a bit more colour.
Part of this is a slight reflection or shadow of the cliff.
It shows up as a darker blue rather than the colour of the rock face.
I fill the frame with a mountain
For the next set of photos I move inland.
The subject this time is a mountain.
In Ireland we have plenty of mountains, mostly along the west coast.
As mountains go, they’re not very big, but they make good scenery.
Most of them occur in groups, but this one is isolated.
It doesn’t look too impressive and yet it’s bigger that some others that look more mountainy.
The wide angle shot was taken at 12mm.
It shows the mountain growing out of some desolate, featureless looking bog land.
The sky is showing some blue with those fluffy picturesque clouds in it.
Cloud filled skies don’t look good
So much of the time here we have a completely cloud filled sky, which adds nothing to photographs.
It detracts from them though.
The closer shot here was taken at 55mm.
It over fills the frame from side to side as both ends of the mountain are cut off.
The main part of the subject is included.
In this close in there is only a tiny part of the blue in the sky to be seen.
There’s a lot of detail in the cloud though, so it doesn’t look flat.
Some of the cloud is in front of the mountain, which is nice.
It shows that this is a mountain, and not a hill.
Zooming in shows several buildings which are too small to see in the wide shot.
It also shows that beyond the bog land there is a greener, better looking landscape.
Indoors for the final photos
The last photographs I have are different in a number of ways.
First of all they were taken indoors, unlike any of the others.
Secondly they were set up rather than shot as is, like all the landscapes were.
Thirdly they were shot with a prime lens rather than a zoom lens.
Prime lenses can’t zoom. They have a fixed focal length. The one used here is a 50mm lens.
The last difference between these photos and the others, is to get the bigger picture, I walked in closer.
In taking the other photos it would be impossible to do this for most of them.
The one with the beached looking boat being the possible exception.
I was close to this when I took it.
There is room in front of the boat to walk forward into, and I could have done so.
With a recently acquired zoom lens on the camera though, who would?
Walk in close to shoot, is a good thing to do now and again if you have a prime lens.
If you’re using a mobile phone, where the zoom isn’t always great, try doing it also.
Try it with something close to you.
There’s nothing stopping you shooting something that’s a mile away, then walking right up to it for a close up.
You could forget what you intended doing and just walk right past.
A laptop displayed on a chair
This pair of photos are of a MacBook displayed on a black armchair.
The lighting is daylight through a window, coming from the right as we look at them.
You can see the shadow cast by the arm of the chair.
It’s falling across the lower right side of the computer.
The wide angle shot shows the laptop in the middle of the photo, with a good margin above and below.
Apart from the chair and computer, there’s some other detail to the sides of the chair.
On the left is a faint glimpse of a wall.
It looks dark here but it’s actually quite bright, just ia a shadow.
There’s some more things to be seen on the right including part of a brass lamp stand.
In the second photo I really fill the frame.
There’s little or nothing extra at the top or bottom, just the laptop.
Because the computer is open it doesn’t fill the frame from side to side.
It does occupy as much of the photo as it possibly can.
Apart from the macBook the only other thing in this photo is part of the chair.
Diesel Drinking Dinosaurs
When I took these photos I hadn’t started this blog, or even decided to do so.
At that time I had another website.
It’s the one that’s open in this photo.
I used that website in this photograph, because it was mine, and I didn’t want to use someone else’s.
It’s a comic strip that I published for most of last year.
I failed to find an audience for it so it’s parked at the moment.
The characters are not drawn, they’re photographed.
I have another post on this site about making comics with photographs.
used one of the photos I shot for this strip in that post.
If you want to have a look and see how you really can make comics with photos click here.
The photos are of toy dinosaurs, and are all cut from their background.