Frame Within a Frame


Composition-Beyond the Rule of Thirds


Lesson Info

Frame Within a Frame

Now this is not a lesser composition, the frame within a frame, but this is gonna be a really good bridge for us before we actually dig into compositional theory. Because this is one of those things that's like a hey, yeah, put something in a frame between something else. And it's a little bit more vague but it's still really a good trick. And this is the frame within a frame. Now our photos are always seen through frames. Sometimes it is a literal frame and sometimes it's just the edge of the screen. We talked about this very early on in the presentation, we're talking about how you are framing what you're looking at. Using something to create a frame creates more focus on your subject and adds more depth. So we're putting a frame within the frame which is the edge of the screen. Here we have the couple, they are framed by this triangle shape of the woods. Secondarily they are also kinda framed a little bit by the water as well. They kinda occupy their own space in the scene. Very imp...

ortant concept to continue thinking about, giving things their own space. When you are doing frame within a frame you want to creatively think of objects to use as frames. Think of things like trees, doorways, tunnels, bridges, windows, anything that lets you look through something, at something else. Framing can also add context, meaning, or depth to a photo. Especially when the framing device, meaning what is surrounding your subject, is related to it. Give the sense of depth. I remember seeing this photo years ago and it was basically, it was a picture of a fire but it was firefighters fighting the fire and they were the framing device for the fire. And so it was a wide-angle shot and they were all kind of in this cluster and the photographer was shooting through them at the fire and they created this beautiful framing device. And it's about establishing narrative and context through the way you're telling that story. Bridge. Doorway. Very easy device to use. Now more often than not, you wanna keep the exposure and the focus on your subject. If it's possible, use a foreground frame that is darker than the background. It's because our eyes immediately go to the brightest part of the image and less so to the dark parts. And if you're surrounding, it's kinda like creating a visual vignette, like a practical vignette around what we're directing the eye toward. Now using a dark frame provides depth without taking away from the subject. But, this isn't an absolute case because you can also do a light frame and break that rule. So remember, one of the rules can be broken. It's up to you to implement them. Now, those are hopefully gonna be some of the more common things that you may or may not have heard about. The guides, the rules, the compositional kind of tools like frame within a frame. We're gonna dig into visual theories in just a second. Which you're gonna apply a lot of these things in the more abstract and it's gonna break down even some of the things that you're already familiar with to explain how and why and where they come from.

Class Description

You know the basics of composition – now take it to the next level. Good composition is more than following a strict set of rules and guidelines. In fact, those very things can stifle your creativity and make your work fade into the pack of other photographers. In this class, Chris Knight shows you that there is more to composition than a few lines – it’s about creating balance in an image. He’ll introduce the Gestalt Principle and encourage you to look beyond the rule of thirds and utilize contrast, leading lines and more for interesting and dynamic images.



I have to say, perhaps if you are an academic or a college trained photographer/artist/painter etc., this may be old hat to you. However, if you are like me and have never been exposed to definitions and descriptions of composition, this was a shock-and-awe inspiring reveal of these artistic concepts. I can guarantee I will watch these over and over again while I try to absorb even a little of this material, but Creative Live could make an all day class of this guy explaining this material. material he quite obviously loves and uses and his passion for the subject matter is very obvious. This class is making me consider a trip back to the campus to get more information on this subject. Quick, contract Chris Knight to develop a whole class before I end up in college!!! Highly recommend this class.

Matthew De Moraes

Really useful tips and tricks to improve your understanding of composition and why you like the images you like - which you can then use to further your own ability to take great images in camera.

a Creativelive Student

What a FANTASTIC presentation! I loved it. Best instruction I have ever seen/read as a graphic designer for 33 years. I majored in art and graphic communications in college before becoming a designer. Well done Chris. Definitely buying the class.