One of the strongest elements in this photo is use of the tree as a framing device that fills the left side of the frame.
A framing device is exactly what it sounds like. Just as a frame that holds a photo or painting mounted on your wall and isolates your view to the work of art, a photograph’s framing device acts to hold eye movement inside the edge of the photo.
A framing device can be any object, in or out of focus, that forces the viewer to move toward the photo’s center of interest.
The base of the tree, coupled with the light colored bee hive, acts as one corner of a triangle formed by it, the hay rake at right and the barn in the near background. This triangle shape forms an object made up of individual objects that anchor the lower half of the photo
Another aspect of this particular triangle is each of the corner objects lies at a different distance from the viewer. This spacial relationship between objects forms a three dimensional path that moves the viewer through the photo from front to rear.
There are four planes of focus in this photo. First three are the three objects in the triangle. The fourth is the cloud filled sky.
Using the tree and bee hive as foreground objects, the triangle formed by the other two objects is built on three planes. Each corner in the triangle is at a difference focus point. A small f-stop makes all the objects in focus.
An additional depth illusion is the three foreground objects sitting in front of a distant background, the sky, increasing the depth and dimension of the scene.
Remember that a photo is a two-dimensional representation of a three dimensional object.
It’s up to the photographer to use all the tools of composition to create a photo that represents the three dimensional view.
This photo’s use of a framing device, triangle shapes, and a foreground object combines three compositional techniques to create a pleasing cover for the cover of the November issue of WestervilleLife Magazine.
This photo is from the Composition e-Book by Gary Gardiner. It is available for download as one of a series of e-Books for Ohio Photo Classes students and fans.