When composing a shot, the presentation of the subject in the image frame is foremost in a photographer’s mind. If the subject appears too small to be noticed and appreciated in the photo, you can end up with a weak shot that borders on dull and boring. One simple technique to address this issue is filling the frame with your subject. This way, there is no doubt as to what you want the viewer to look at, plus it allows more details, such as textures and patterns, to be more visible.
The fill-the-frame technique is used to cover the image area with the subject so that no background distractions can be seen. Here are some common ways to do this:
Go Closer to Fill the Frame
This piece of advice is so often mentioned that it has almost become a cliché. Still, it’s one of the best tips to follow, and is particularly useful when doing a fill-the-frame composition. One of the most common mistakes newbie photographers make is that they are so far away from their subject that it gets lost in the background. You probably see this in snapshots of people whose faces can hardly be seen, because they are too far from you. Don’t be afraid to go closer. To fill the frame, go as close as you can until they fill up most of the image area. For example, you can focus on just their face, hands or legs.
Photo by Andrew Morrell Photography
Use the Zoom Function to Frame Your Shot
There are times when you want to go closer, but you can’t, because there is something blocking the way, you do not want to disturb the scene, or the subject is dangerous. You can solve this problem by using your camera’s zoom function if it has one. It will make far-off subjects appear closer than in reality. Your camera might have either an optical zoom or a digital zoom feature, however, there is a big difference between the two, both in their function and in quality. Optical zooms magnify the subject, while digital zooms crop your subject and then enlarge the cropped portion. To do this, pixels are added or interpolated to the image, resulting in lower image quality.
Photo by wwarby
Crop the Image Frame in Post-Processing
You can also fill the frame by cropping out the background and other distracting elements during photo editing. This is usually a quick fix, and although it does help improve the composition, it is advisable to get it right in-camera, so that the photo does not have to be cropped. Cropping decreases the image size by removing image pixels. If you crop too much, you might end up with a photo that is as small as a postage stamp if printed.
Photo by left-hand
Photo by daking27
Close-up and macro shots usually show the fill-the-frame technique, and are effective in showing all the minute details of the subject. However, you can also be further away from your subject and still have it fill the image area if it is large in scale.
Photo by yilmaz ovunc