Here is a fairly standard, but somewhat boring photograph of KU's Campanile. It lacks a feeling of depth and leaves a lot of wasted and empty space around the monument. In the following photograph in this gallery you can see what was created by moving only a small distance away and near a tree.
In this photograph of the Campanile I moved only a small distance, behind a tree, and used foreground branches and leaves to re-frame the landmark. The added content creates a sense of depth and visual interest.
I used the overarching branches of an ice covered tree to frame a KU student walking on the KU campus in winter. The tree actually is the main subject in this photo and was the initial element I framed. I then waited for a passerby to compete the composition.
Instead of framing a photograph on only the baton runner, I used my telephoto lens and framed on a waiting teammate at left and the baton carrier, maintaining my focus on the baton carrier. I included the runner in background at right to add further depth to the scene.
I spotted this colorful umbrella while photographing the Tour of Lawrence bicycling event and choose to use it as a foreground element as bicyclists passed. From the same position, I could also have chosen to use the heads and shoulders of people watching as a foreground element. Any foreground subject would be preferable than the gray of the street.
Rather than take a photograph level with the young artist across the table, which would have been fairly flat and uninteresting, I placed my camera in a very low position near the table top to incorporate the many colorful pens. Although foreground subjects this close to the camera will be out of focus, they can provide interesting visual information and lead a viewers eye to the focused subject.
For a portrait, I managed to get myself in position to use one of two Great Pyrenees dogs to help frame a subject in the background. There is enough of the dog to be recognizable and the shape directs attention to the main subject and fills up what would have been a large expanse of snow at left.
As bicyclist rides down Mass. St. I used the wheel of a bike mounted to the back of a car, to add a creative element to what would have been a boring background. My assignment had been to find a photograph about bicycling in town. Rather than just photograph the single cyclist, I found the rack-mounted bike to use as a compositional element.
I intentionally kept the out-of-focus person at left in this frame to fill up space and direct a veiwers eye to the main subject at center. It also provides the feeling of a crowded room full of people. Here they were cheering for the Jayhawks during an NCAA basketball tournament game. In addition I timed my shot to capture the out stretched hands of the person at left before a clap.
My main subject and focus was on the foreground figure at left of Bob Wandel, Lawrence, who was participating with the 3rd Kansas light artillery unit at the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield, MO. I purposely composed my frame so that I would capture the background element of the flag in the distance and veiled in canon fire smoke.
Had this been just a photograph of the motorcyclists only it may have been interesting content but visually pretty boring. I positioned myself behind a woman waving a flag and used it as a foreground element to add some framing and dimension to the scene.
Using two music stands in the foreground at left and right, and by sitting on the floor, I was able to frame Paul Laird at KU during a Collegium Musicum rehearsal. I had to be careful to not let the stands cover my subject.
Some people might consider the back of the person at left in foreground a distraction, but I used it as a visually creative device that helps a viewer move through the frame and toward the main subject at center. This framing creates a perspective of depth and scale.
After spotting the horse in a field, I used a wide-angle lens and a close-up composition of the fence to frame the background shape of the horse. I chose the foreground ice to focus on since the shape of the horse is clearly recognizable and the ice was the news element of the day.
Rather than zoom out and compose a shot of just the herd of bison running by my position inside a truck, I used a wide-angle lens to incorporate the silhouetted figure of the man at left and then framed the bison as they ran past. This was taken at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City.