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

composition look up perspective-0610869composition perspective-145

This is a compositional technique I got from Jesse Marlow, filling the frame with strong bold diagonals/lines:

jesse marlowe leading lines.jpg
Photo by Jesse Marlowe / from ‘Don’t Just Tell Them, Show Them’

2. Get close, crouch down, and photograph your subject against the sky

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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

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As an exercise, fill the frame with just one color.

Or keep it simple with just two colors:

eric kim photography composition 1.jpg

To know whether your photos work or not, look at your photos as small thumbnails:


4. Simple background

Cindy Project - ERIC KIM-4

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.


5. Reflections

Cindy Project - ERIC KIM-28

Fill the frame by putting your camera closer to the ground, especially when there is a reflective surface.


6. Fill the frame with diagonals

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Tilt your camera, and get very close, and fill the frame with just diagonal lines.

7. Fill the frame with different colors

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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

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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

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When I was in London, I loved this orange building. I tried to frame it to include as much of the orange in the frame as possible (shot on 35mm lens, with Kodak Portra 400 film).


10. Get close, and use a flash

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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.

If you’re shooting a street portrait, also try shooting with a flash!


Conclusion: When in Doubt, Get Closer.

robert capa FRANCE.-Normandy.-June-6th-1944.-Landing-of-the-American-troops-on-Omaha-Beach..jpg

“If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa

With physical proximity comes emotional proximity. Thus be like Robert Capa, and remember to always get closer to your subjects.

Eric-Kim-Kyoto-Photography-2018-Uji00102.jpg

Embed your heart, soul into your photos; and fill the frame with whatever you find meaningful.

cindy hands frame.jpeg

GET CLOSER,
ERIC

eric kim selfie 1eric kim selfie 2ERIC-KIM-PHOTOGRAPHY-AMSTERDAM-DIARY-201753


Composition 101

ERIC KIM X ANNETTE KIM X BAUHAUS REMIX

Master composition for yourself:

Photography Composition Tips

Color Theory

Color wheel theory: Dynamic tension between opposing colors.
Color wheel theory: Dynamic tension between opposing colors. Image from CREATIVE EVERY DAY

Learn From the Masters of Composition

Sergio Larrain Compositions
Sergio Larrain Compositions

Dynamic Photography Composition 101

Leading lines. ERIC KIM DYNAMIC COMPOSITION
Leading lines. ERIC KIM DYNAMIC COMPOSITION

Painting Compositions

Vermeer

Dynamic Photography Composition Tips

Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM
Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM

Composition Theory

Dynamic low angle composition. Tokyo, 2011 by ERIC KIM
Dynamic low angle composition. Tokyo, 2011 by ERIC KIM

Take your composition to the next level:


Street Photography Composition 101

DYNAMIC REFLECTIONS. Man and three reflections by ERIC KIM
DYNAMIC REFLECTIONS. Man and three reflections by ERIC KIM

For distilled lessons on composition, read the free ebook: “The Street Photography Composition Manual.”

Further articles to improve your compositions in photography:

Composition Theory

Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM
Woman and door. Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM

Learn compositional theory:


Compositional lessons from the masters of art


Composition lectures


Composition pictures/grids

Eric Kim photography Bauhaus Piet Mondrian


Golden Diagonal Composition

golden diagonal composition
Golden Diagonal Composition / Kyoto Station, 2018

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