Architectural Composition Tool: Filling the Frame

When creating architectural images the biggest consideration in composition is isolation, meaning what to include and exclude within your frame. The two basic ways to go about this are filling the frame, which we’ll discuss in more depth today, and negative space, which we’ve discussed in the past, here.

As opposed to the negative space approach where images feel calmer, filling the frame creates tension within your image. Both work, it’s up to you what you want to convey to the viewer.

In cityscapes, we typically view the city from a distance, which makes you feel like an observer. When you fill the frame with city you feel more a part of the environment.

Still cityscape-like but in a more abstract way. Both of these images below use layering as an added compositional tool. They also incorporate reflections in different ways to create this depth, layering and filling the frame.

As we often discuss, one compositional idea may be what draws you to frame the image in a particular way, but upon further study, you’ll notice other compositional elements in play. All work together to create a more dynamic shot.

Moving onto more detailed perspectives of architecture. In this first image, not only is the frame filled with the subject but there’s layering involved.

Here you have the added sense of symmetry, framing and leading lines.

Still recognizable, but a bit more minimalistic, the frame is filled with three different buildings stacked upon each other, which also indicates layering.

Now for the abstract. You can go very busy like this first image.

Also busy, but a bit more complex with the multiple layers and reflections here.

Or with the final two images a little more calm with less going on in the space and simply filling the frame with the patterns in each space.

It’s up to you how busy or simplistic you go with this tool. Be sure to share your images with us in our Facebook group, Architecture Photography Unfolded or on Instagram.




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