Natural frame photography is a relatively new trend that has been rapidly gaining popularity among photographers and social media users alike.
There are many different natural elements to use as frames around subjects within photos, such as trees, flowers, bridges, arches and even architecture.
in this blog post we will see what is natural frame photography and 19 different ideas to use it in practice.
Before going into details of creative techniques of natural frame photography lets first understand what is a frame in photography.
What is the frame in photography?
The frame is the outer boundary of a photograph. It surrounds and holds all elements within it. The shape, size and position of the frame can greatly affect how your subject appears to viewers in photographs.
Framing can give a very natural look to your photographs. It also adds a certain artistic touch that gives the photo more impact and appeal. More importantly, framing is easily possible with almost any object in nature or architecture around you.
Framing in photography refers to the technique of drawing focus on a particular subject by blocking out other distractions.
This can be done through dividing up an entire image into different sections, as well as positioning objects around it and using them for framing purposes – sometimes even leaving space behind so that viewers’ attention will naturally settle there instead (this is known as “negative” or reversed framing).
Famous photographers like Henri-Cartier Bresson would often use this approach because he believed pictures should not only tell “what happened here” but also make you think about how things might have looked if they were happening now .
What is a natural frame photography ?
Now that we know what is a frame in photography. Lets see what is a natural frame. A natural frame photo is one that makes use of elements within nature or architecture to surround and/or highlight the main focus of the picture.
Natural frames are available in abundance everywhere and you can always use them creatively to draw attention to your subject. Natural frames can be used in landscape , portrait and many other forms of photography.
Why you should use natural framing ?
- This type of framing is great for keeping the focus on your subject. It attracts the attention of your viewers right into the photo and emphasizes the main topic.
- It isolates and distances your subject from the background.
- Natural frame adds a feeling of organization and structure to a photograph, which is generally liked by the viewer.
When to use natural framing ?
Natural framing should be used in areas which you want to keep the attention focused on a particular subject. In doing this, it isolates and distances your subject from the background which can make for an impression of organization and structure.
Another situation in which natural framing is typically used is when photographing landscapes or other types of artwork, where negative frames are often used to show contrast between light and dark elements within the picture.
Natural framing can also be used to create a feeling of a self-contained image, particularly if you are photographing something quite ordinary and simple, a frame will help give depth to the subject.
Natural frame photography tips
Here are some tips to find the right natural frame for your photograph and use it effectively.
- Look around for interesting natural frames that will suit your subject.
- Find an element in the surrounding, which is different from your focus of interest, but complementary to it.
- Make sure there are no distracting elements included in the frame or anything else that may take away attention even more than you wanted.
- Select a viewpoint where both main and secondary subjects are visible together.
- Make sure the frame is not too dominant and does not cover up your subject or any part of it, but still works effectively to bring focus on what you want to highlight.
- If possible, use both natural framing techniques (positive & negative) in one picture by including empty space behind your main object as well as around it.
Natural frame photography ideas
There are so many natural and architectural elements that can be used for framing the subject. let’s see some interesting natural frame photography ideas. Finding natural arches is a fun and rewarding challenge.
Topiary as Natural frame
Using topiary as a natural frame is an intriguing concept. You may also utilize the frames to make interesting forms and designs. Visit a topiary garden to see how many natural frames you can discover in the neatly trimmed and trained hedges.
Using Stone arches as a natural frame
Stone arches add a touch of natural beauty to the surroundings. Although they are not very easy to find, you can get some great shots along the path of a mountain trail. Beautiful architectural sites almost always include natural frames, and they are frequently photographed in beautiful settings.
When you go to these locations, avoid getting lost trying to shoot the architecture for its own sake. Look through and examine these archways to see if you can use them to frame something interesting in the distance, such as a green landscape or a turbulent sky.
Windows always make a great photo frame
A window has all which makes up an effective frame. It is a natural frame which you can find in abundance, and it often makes the perfect backdrop for your subject. The windows of old styles buildings are especially interesting as they have built-in wooden frames with ornate patterns that work perfectly as photos themselves .
You can also use them to split up an image into sections or create intriguing shapes around the window itself – just be sure not to cut out any important details from your shot!
Trees and tree branches
The trees and tree branches are also a great natural frame to use in photography. You can find them easily anywhere you go, even inside your own yard or garden! They come in all different shapes and sizes, which means that they will work for nearly any type of scene .
Be sure to look out for other interesting details along the trunk as well – these make excellent stand-alone photographs too. Try photographing through limbs with leaves on both sides to create an image full of texture and color.
Flowers and Flowering Trees
The flowers and flowering trees are the perfect natural frame when photographing children. Keep them in focus while using their surroundings to create a unique scene with your child in the middle.
Look for different types of blooming plants, since each has its own unique look that will make for an interesting photo . And because the flowers are usually in motion, you can create dynamic images that capture action and energy.
Bridges offer a number of different natural frame photography ideas. The bridges themselves can make for an interesting photo, and they provide a nice backdrop to your subject as well .
Use the bridge structures and railings to create unique patterns around your shot. It will isolate the part of the scene you wish to focus on , while also creating some movement against a still background.
Natural Rock Arches
Natural rock arches are a natural framing option that you can find near beaches and coastal areas or even at hill stations. They tend to form over time, as the wind and water erode away at limestone formations .
These structures make for incredible images with their unique curves and textures, but they also provide some interesting foreground pieces if your shot is wide enough . You can experiment with shooting from either side of an archway or even through it!
Mountains are a natural framing option that offers endless possibilities for photography. Because they tend to be tall, you can use them in many different ways. Look to use the mountains as a way to frame or divide your shot, creating layers that will draw attention . You can also use them for dramatic sky shots.
Trimmed hedges are another type of naturally occurring photo frame option you can find anywhere with plants growing across property lines. Use bushes and shrubbery as an alternative to climbing over fences or through yards just so that you can get into position for your photograph.
Overhead power lines
Overhead power lines are often overlooked as photo opportunities, but they can actually make great natural picture frames for your subject .
You may need to shoot through multiple wires or poles in order to create the perfect image , so it is important to look for interesting shapes and patterns that come from the wires themselves.
Houses and Fences
While fences are often a nuisance in photos, you can use them for framing shots as well . Houses also work as natural frames due to their unique shapes and patterns that come from different architectural styles . Look out for interesting features like chimneys or even the sculptures on roofs!
Rooftops make excellent picture frames too , especially those with unusual architecture or other details built into the roof itself.
Keep your subject indoors while using these framed views of nature outside to create unique images full of texture and color contrast. Use rooftop railings for multiple frame options if they exist around your scene .
The body parts are another type of framing option. For instance, try photographing through arms or legs to create unusual images that focus on the shapes and curves these natural frames provide while keeping your subject in focus .
You can also shoot around other sections of the human body like heads or torsos to achieve different effects for each photo .
Car mirrors make a great natural framing option as well . They are usually flat and large enough to see easily through, so you can use them in various ways.
Shoot from the front of your car with the mirror acting as a window frame or try using it at an angle for interesting perspective shots that break up otherwise open scenes.
Walkways can be a great way to frame your shot as well . Look for walkways that curve or zigzag through the scene.
They will provide plenty of interesting shapes and lines in your photographs, which you can use to highlight just one element of an otherwise busy photo .
Sun rays are another type of natural framing option that occurs just after the sun has set. The sunlight will shine through tree branches or other objects in a way that creates interesting beams and patterns .
This is best captured at dusk just before nightfall , so you may need to scout locations for this effect ahead of time if you want your shot to be perfect.
A staircase makes for an excellent natural frame . Look to place your subject at the bottom or top of a set of stairs and then shoot through them, focusing on just that element.
People climbing the staircase also make a nice framing option.
You can also try positioning yourself higher than your shot so you are looking down upon it while shooting straight into the pathway below. Circular staircase makes it even better to create a stunning natural frame.
Leading lines of roads
Roads with leading lines are another great example of a natural frame. Leading or implied lines of road sides meeting at horizon can form a great frame. Even without a separate subject , the leading lines themselves make a fantastic photo with a lot of depth.
Old tree trunk
Old tree trunks are another natural frame example. Find a hollow or rotten looking tree and place your subject as if you were creating a portrait of it . Birds nesting in old tree trunks make a really nice photograph.
Summary : Natural frame photography
As you must have seen by now natural frame photography provides us with so many options to click some great pictres.
Everyday natural and man made objects around us can give us framing inspiration for some amazing photographs. So what are you waiting for.
Take out your camera and lets get going !