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Holger Pooten

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Home > Thinking outside “The Box”

When we take a photograph, we are selecting a very specific point in space and time. What informs the context and how does it modulate what is included or left out in the photograph?
Take a look around the photo before you take it, what are you leaving out? Try and think about how your decisions will impact the final image and how the viewer will interpret your artistic or technical choices.  Think outside the box or, in this case,  look outside the frame.

What is left outside the frame can tell a story of its own. Every image has a relationship to the rest of the world.

OK so, how can we give clues of the environment without showing it.

If the subject is always looking at the camera. Ask them to look away, catching them unaware and looking or connecting with something or someone outside of the frame.

Nothing like a good crop to give you an idea of the rest of the person or to hint at an emotion. It might even be a detail of a person like their hand or foot.

When the subject is surrounded by a single strong colour, its dominance can imply a continuation. Like a boat surrounded by the sea; this can also be achieved by the use of pattern.

A really interesting way to show or hint at what is happening in the environment is to use reflections. This can suggest the wider world. It gives another layer or dimension to the image.

How to frame your photographs is just one of the many things to be aware of to give you more control over the creative process.

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