Framing in Photography using Architectural Elements

Framing in photography is a composition technique that can bring more interest to a picture. Framing will not only make the subject stand out. It will also integrate it into the environment, or create a story. Framing can also give a better sense of the place to your photos.

We can use man-made frames, natural frames, of both. In this post I’ll go with only man-made, actually architectural framing.

Architectural framing in photography

The most obvious man-made frames we see all the time are certainly doors and windows.

Framing Doors and Doorways

Framed by definition, doors can make nice compositions and reveal great scenes interesting to observe and photograph. I made a post earlier onΒ  Newfoundland Interesting Doors and Doorways. But I have lots of other framing doors from the places I visited. An example is this photo I took at Fort Maiden, Amhrestburg, Ontario – a National Historic Site of Canada, a living museum.

Framing in Photography - Open door in Fort Maiden, Amhrestburg, Ontario

Back in time, I also made a post called “If the doors could talk” about old doors in Casco Viejo, Panama. Talking about Panama, one of my favorite examples on door framing photography is this one below. I called it “Half In”. It’s a young girl entering through an open door of a bungalow at a coffee farm in Boquete, Panama. The light and shadow help emphasize the subject too.

Framing in photography - half in an open door

Below I have two more examples of framing doors that I really like. One is from Orange Walk, Belize. The open door to the street lets us see inside of a tailor’s workshop. The other open door reveals part of the interior of the beautiful St.Paul church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is actually an example of multiple frames in frames.

Frame in photography - tailor workshop in Belize
Open door at St.Paul Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Also, I cannot miss this open door – top favorite in one of the SmugMug / Dgrin contests: “Open or Closed”

Open front door

Entrances and passageways are another examples of framing photography:

Here is a picture I took at Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. That’s right, what you see is one of the famous Goya paintings. Several elements, including the two roman sculptures, frame the masterpiece and lead the eye to it.

Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain

Another example of a nice framing is the entrance to the Louisburg Fortress in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It’s another medieval living museum and National Historic Site of Canada.

Louisburg Fortress Nova Scotia Entrance

We visited Bamberg in Bavaria at winter holidays time, and you may know that this is a wonderful time to spend in Germany.Β  If you don’t, take my word for itΒ  πŸ™‚ The picture shows the entrance of a restaurant brewery at night, framed by Christmas lights:

Restaurant entrance in Bamberg, Germany

Framing Arches

I think that arches are particularly interesting for creating framing in photography. We find them mainly in religious establishments, but also in old buildings and towns in Europe and Latin America.

I photographed this beautiful cupola framed by arches, at Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain:

Almudena cathedral cupola, Madrid, Spain

In churches, arches frame elements like stained-glass windows, altars and other artwork. I photographed these below in the same Spanish cathedral in Madrid:

Arches in Almudena cathedral, Madrid, Spain
Arches in Almudena cathedral, Madrid, Spain

At Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume Monastery in Provence, France, the sunny interior court was framed by columns and arches:

Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume Monastery, Provence, France

The central plaza In Antigua, Guatemala, like in many other cities of Latin America, is bordered with covered sidewalks. Here is how beautiful they are, framing the daily activity of the city:

Arches and columns in Antigua, Guatemala central plaza

One more that I really like, is this arch framing the Venetian tower in Las Vegas Venetian Hotel

Framed Venetian Tower Las Vegas

Bridges are another great opportunity for framing in photography. I’ll make another post on these later..


Inspired by: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #60– Framing the Shot

16 Comments on “Framing in Photography using Architectural Elements”

  1. A very diverse and well organized post, Tatiana – and amazing shots! My absolute favorite is the shoes, “Open or Closed”. super!

  2. Beautiful series, Tatiana! I love how you group them in doors, windows, and arches… in different places. It must be difficult to select from you photo files. Thank you so much, I really enjoyed these beautiful photos! πŸ™‚

  3. Wow… Fabulous series, Tatiana! I so enjoy taking a tour here. Love how you group them by doors, windows, arches, … Great photos!
    Thank you so much for sharing! πŸ™‚

  4. Wow. Very thorough exploration and noteworthy commentary. Reflections, shoes, Belize, and Panama are just a few of my favorites. Well done.

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