I would like to address framing as it relates to the presence of people or animals in a photo. Because my art is centered on landscape and nature photography, primarily, I will be referring to animals. The presence of humans in the image should receive the same attention. When photographing wildlife, there is an inclination to focus on the subject. This leads to the tendency by many photographers to center that animal in the center frame of the photo. Unfortunately this creates a static image. Static images are usually uninteresting. One glaring exception is the close-up, where the subject fills the frame.
Creatures are either moving from place to place looking for their the next meal or mate. Rarely are they quietly contemplating their existence or worrying about the way their lives are going.
So. with that in mind, the creature should be moving toward something or watching for something.
In the example below the bird is in flight. Yes that is a bird. I would love to say that I waited patiently for the cormorant, the bird in the photo, to appear, but it was a just luck. But there he is winging his way across Lake Tarpon in Florida. The space in front of the bird gives it freedom to move through the image.
Now in the image below, I gave the alligator lying on the log an area that it could be gazing into and watching for its next meal. Or it could just be sunning itself, it is after all a cold blooded creature.
Framing with space in front of the gator gives it somewhere to look.
There is an interesting story to go along with this photo. My focus was on the image below. Having set up my tripod, I had shot several exposures. I packed up and moved a little further down the trail. Minutes later returning, a passerby asked me if I saw the gator. It had been not more than 15 feet from me the whole time.
It’s always good to be aware of your surroundings. I briefly forgot, but you can bet that I am more cautious now.