Pictures, not snaps: 3

Jane Dubai2003
Photo by Jane Clapp

What makes this magnificent shot a picture and not just a haphazard snapshot? If you had caught only a quick glimpse of this one, could you have walked past and ignored it? OK, if you had severe toothache and were hurrying to the dentist, quite possibly. Otherwise? I don’t think so. You’d go back and gaze at it.

What makes it a picture and not a snap?

It’s been ‘framed’. The photographer has seen the possibility and taken time to move back into the cave so that the mouth of the cave becomes a frame. It does exactly the same job as the frames round the pictures on your walls. Of course, this shot takes the frame principle to its limit. But the principle can be applied using, not just the immediate foreground, as here, but objects in the middle distance and background as well. A tree can be shifted to one edge of your picture by moving sideways a little, and it will form one side of the frame. Another slight change of position (keeping the tree in roughly the same place) might bring a previously unnoticed distant form – a cloud, a building, a distant steep hillside – into shot. and you have your frame.

Not all pictures need frames, of course. Single objects or groups of objects can usually stand alone, unframed, unsupported. A great many of my own are like that. But the scenic picture, with a great many points of interest dotted about – these are the ones that can benefit by being ’rounded-up’, given a frame.

This entry was posted in Tips for Pics on by .

About Paul

Retired, I spend my time on commissions for lyrics, writing words for singing. Choral works, congregational hymns, school songs - anything that allows people to sing together. Over one hundred published works and many broadcasts and CDs. An always-present liking for photography and pictures of all kinds was employed for a few years of freelancing and nearly 20 years of art-directing Kodak promotional print media.