Fill the Frame – Make it Big and Bold

Make a big impact – as big as you can

Fill the frame

Fill the frame. Make sure that your viewer gets your image big, bold and right up front.

Here is a quick tip for getting the big impact.

If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.
Robert Capa  External link - opens new tab/page

Yes, Make your subject big. Fill the frame. But also be mindful…

“Sometimes the photographer looks for too many elements to fill the frame when in fact the only thing you need is what the image is about”.
Arturo Macias Uceda (photographer)

As an element of composition the frame is the defining limit of the box within which the image is placed. To make a picture stand out you need to get the viewer involved with the subject inside the frame – throughout the frame. One way to do that is to have a larger than life impact.

Filling the frame is not always easy, its not always right either. However, it works well for subjects that have a big presence and especially well for subjects that are larger than life anyway. If your message is strong and you have an engaging image then fill the frame with your subject.

The technique of filling the frame with one subject relies on minimizing other elements. In the picture above the street parade was a mass of complex colours and uncoordinated movements involving lots of people. Drawing back and taking the shot was not an option – I was deep in the crowd. However, this character was right in front of me and carried a big message and a big personality. This is the right sort of situation to fill the frame and exclude everything else – as well as get the message across.

If you do fill the frame make sure your subject can carry its weight. Pictures need balance. Try to make sure there is something in the picture that gives it scale. If you don’t then the viewer will be wondering if the picture is real or distorted. If it has scale then the power of filling the frame will drive the subject up front and draw the eye. And, that is exactly what you want – to make an impact!

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