Very simple photography tip: Fill the frame with a certain color, certain visual element, or your subject to make a more engaging/interesting photo!
1. Get close to your subject, and simplify the background
This is a compositional technique I got from Jesse Marlow, filling the frame with strong bold diagonals/lines:
2. Get close, crouch down, and photograph your subject against the sky
It is difficult to simplify and fill the frame in street photography. The best way is to just get close to your subject, and crouch down and photograph them against the sky!
3. One color
As an exercise, fill the frame with just one color.
Or keep it simple with just two colors:
To know whether your photos work or not, look at your photos as small thumbnails:
4. Simple background
Find a simple background, and photograph your subject against it.
You can ask your subject to move to the background, or just position yourself to photograph them against the simple background.
Fill the frame by putting your camera closer to the ground, especially when there is a reflective surface.
6. Fill the frame with diagonals
Tilt your camera, and get very close, and fill the frame with just diagonal lines.
7. Fill the frame with different colors
When you’re shooting, look at the edges of the frame, and try to fill the entire frame with bold color!
8. Fill the frame with interesting repeating diagonals or lines
This photograph I was photographing this guy, and I got very close, and shot with a 24mm lens, focusing on the elements in the background, and filling the frame with the lines.
9. Include as much as whatever you find interesting
10. Get close, and use a flash
I don’t recommend using a zoom or telephoto lens. Rather, get very close with a 24mm, 28mm, or 35mm (wide-angle) lens to make a more engaging image. The benefit of getting close and filling the frame with a wide-angle lens is that the photos will feel more intimate and personal.
Conclusion: When in Doubt, Get Closer.
“If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa
Embed your heart, soul into your photos; and fill the frame with whatever you find meaningful.
Master composition for yourself:
Photography Composition Tips
- Look Up! 16 Photography Composition Perspective Tips
- 5 Simple Street Photography Composition Tips
- Depth Perception
- Golden Angle Composition in Street Photography
- Photographer as an “Arranging Artist”
- Dynamic Off-Center Street Photography Compositions
- 5 Essential Composition Tips in Photography
- Red and Green Composition Color Theory For Photographers
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Color Photography
- Opponent Process Color Theory For Photographers
- Color Theory For Photographers
- Color Manual
- How to Shoot Color Street Photography
Learn From the Masters of Composition
- 10 Lessons Matisse Can Teach You About Art and Life
- Henri Cartier-Bresson Composition
- 10 Timeless Lessons Edward Weston Can Teach You About Photography
- 10 Inspirational Sergio Larrain Compositions
- 5 Henri Cartier-Bresson Photography Composition Lessons
Dynamic Photography Composition 101
- Introduction to Dynamic Photography Composition
- How to Visually Analyze Your Photography Compositions
- Dynamic Tension: Opponent Based Theory For Photography
- Opponent Process Color Theory For Photographers
- Dynamic Photography Composition 101: Figure to Ground
Dynamic Photography Composition Tips
- 7 Simple Photography Composition Tips
- How to Make Aggressive Photography Compositions
- 10 Dynamic Photography Composition Tips
- How to Make More Dynamic Picture Compositions
- Unorthodox Photography Composition Techniques
- Deconstructed: Saigon Eric Kim Photos
Take your composition to the next level:
- Gestalt Theory
- Center Eye
- Dutch Angle
- Deep Depth
- Leading Lines
- Figure to Ground
- Fibonacci Spiral
- Composition by Eric Kim
Street Photography Composition 101
For distilled lessons on composition, read the free ebook: “The Street Photography Composition Manual.”
Further articles to improve your compositions in photography:
- Composition Lesson #1: Triangles
- Composition Lesson #2: Figure-to-ground
- Composition Lesson #3: Diagonals
- Composition Lesson #4: Leading Lines
- Composition Lesson #5: Depth
- Composition Lesson #6: Framing
- Composition Lesson #7: Perspective
- Composition Lesson #8: Curves
- Composition Lesson #9: Self-Portraits
- Composition Lesson #10: Urban Landscapes
- Composition Lesson #11: “Spot the not”
- Composition Lesson #12: Color Theory
- Composition Lesson #13: Multiple-Subjects
- Composition Lesson #14: Square Format
Learn compositional theory:
- Why is Composition Important?
- Don’t Think About Composition When You’re Shooting Street Photography
- How to Use Negative Space
- Street Photography Composition 101
- The Theory of Composition in Street Photography: 7 Lessons from Henri Cartier-Bresson
Compositional lessons from the masters of art
Golden Diagonal Composition
Unleash your creative potential:
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.