Lens-Artists Challenge #60 – Framing the Shot

” A photographer needs rectangular eyeballs and horse blinders to frame and focus the vision of what is seen.”

Roy Stryker

MOUNTAINS, HILLS, FLOWERS, RED AND ORANGE, COLORADO, ARROWHEAD

NATURE’S BOUNTY, LITTLETON, COLORADO

In this week’s challenge, Amy asks us to illustrate the concept of “framing the shot“. I believe Mr. Stryker hit the nail on the head with his quote above. A photographer views a scene in 3D and decides which pieces of it will best illustrate his or her vision when translated into a two-dimensional image. My choice in the opening scene was to use the colorful flowers to draw the viewer into the dramatic rocks of Littleton, Colorado.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, CLOUDS, MOUNTAINS, MONTANA

ABOVE THE CLOUDS, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

“A still photograph is simply an isolated frame taken out of the infinite cinema.”

Hollis Frampton

For the last two weeks my husband and I were traveling in the Western US, leaving behind Kiawah’s summer heat and humidity. We thoroughly enjoyed the cool, dry temps of Montana and Colorado as well as the company of good friends and family. During our visit we spent a day sightseeing and photographing the glorious mountain scenery of Glacier National Park, shown above and below. Traveling up through the thick fog, we worried that the day might be a total loss – only to find ourselves completely enchanted by the gorgeous views as we rose above the clouds on the Going To The Sun Road.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA, CLOUDS, FLOWERS, MOUNTAINS

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

“Deciding on a composition when framing a scene is an exercise in subtraction.”

Pete Bridgwood

The vistas are so incredibly vast throughout the park, it’s up to the photographer to narrow his or her focus when composing an image.  The interplay of shadows and light, the colorful flowers versus the severe grey of granite, and the puffy, light texture of the clouds all worked together to frame the scene above just as I’d envisioned it.

GLACIER, FIR TREES, MOUNTAINS, MONTANA, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

NATURE’S FINEST, GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

“One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on.  It’s on all the time.”

Annie Liebovitz

Amy mentions foliage as one of the ways photographers frame their images. The capture above is framed not only by the beautiful fir trees but also by the intersecting lines of the mountains which highlight the glacier that anchors the shot. According to Wikipedia, there were 150 glaciers in the park circa 1850. Today only 25 remain. We know that the internet can sometimes deliver inaccurate information but sadly scientists have confirmed the disappearance of glaciers worldwide. We can only hope that our belated efforts to address global warming will impact the speed with which they are melting away.

SUNSET, WHITEFISH LAKE, MONTANA, BOATS, ROCKS

FIRE IN THE SKY, WHITEFISH LAKE, MONTANA

“The magic possibility of framing a certain space and time is what brought me to photography.”

Pablo Ortiz Monasterio

Our time in the west included more than mountain scenery, as shown in the image above. We enjoyed amazing sunsets as well as the many lakes and streams created by nature’s whims throughout the area. Our best efforts to spend some time boating on the lakes was thwarted by the threat of incoming storms several times, but the storms only enhanced the scenery as we sat lakeside enjoying delicious libations and interesting conversations with good friends.

BIRD, plants, flowers, balance

BIRD IN BALANCE, LITTLETON, COLORADO

“You have to decide what to keep in the frame and what to leave out.”

Richie Norton

Finally, a photographer can choose to frame a grand vista, or perhaps focus on something much less imposing but equally beautiful. I was drawn to the little yellow bird above because of the way it was perched on the color-coordinated sunflowers. To me it was irrelevant that the small scene was actually part of a much larger landscape.

One my favorite aspects of photography is the ability to choose the context that best suits one’s intention. My sincere thanks to Amy for giving us a challenge that draws attention to the importance of that concept. As always, we look forward to seeing your responses, and greatly appreciate your continued support. Remember to use the Len-Artists tag to help us find you. Stay tuned next week as we bring you challenge #61 here on Travels and Trifles.  

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145 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #60 – Framing the Shot

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  2. Your post contains valuable lessons and beautiful examples to go with the quotes. I adore Bridgwood’s quote. Your photo with the purple lupines leading the eye into the photo was my favorite. You definitely have a gift for composition!

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  4. Boy, is that quote ever true, Tina! People gifted with a natural eye for composition find it easy I think, to frame the shot and cut the extra. It does take practice. Obviously, you have this gift and I am so happy you shared on Sunday Stills today! Truly postcard-worthy shots (if those still even exist)!

  5. Wow Tina, what a landscape and captured so well. I understand your trepidation about the fog. We live high in the hills and friends don’t believe us when we say we’re basking in brilliant sunshine while they wallow in the fog. 🙂

  6. Oh my, Tina – these images went straight to my heart – and framed too ;-D. A lovely lesson – totally amazing! And I agree about that quote too.

  7. Your photo essay reminds me that it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Glacier Park. I need to reacquaint myself with this beautiful park. The images you shared here are nothing short of amazing!

  8. This is a very interesting challenge and as always, I love your responses. Yes….framing is key. I was reminded of the film director David Lean (Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai) He had a background as a film editor and he would shoot with the edits already in mind. His type of film is not made any more now in the current era of CGI. But he knew the importance of framing!!

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  10. Blew me away, Tina! The Glacier NP images are breathtaking especially. You certain have taught us not only how but what to frame and focus.
    Thank you so much!

  11. It almost hurts my heart to see all this beauty. You know how I love mountains, so those really capture my attention. The one with the flowers is especially beautiful, but they’re all excellent. You’re photos make me realize that we really have to get up to Glacier National Park one of these days. When you mention the clouds and fog, it reminds me of a trip to Yosemite, where on the morning we left, the clouds were lying below the tops of the mountains and it was stunning.

    janet

    • It’s truly an incredible place Janet. Then again, all of the national parks are pretty darned glorious, including Yosemite. The glaciers up there make it pretty spectacular tho – if you can do it, you should. A bit of a difficult journey but well worth the effort.

  12. Oh my! These colors are amazing. A rectangular eyeball…bizarre but makes sense all the same. I find it can be almost a gut feeling when I see a scene framed “right” – right for me that is. Your Glacier pix transport. Beautiful!

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