Framing Your Subjects On 'Waves'

Look for non-linear planes on which to frame your subjects.

Composition is such a vast subject and yet is so vital for me to understand as a photographer and to interpret within different environments. I was looking through recent shots I had taken in Kolkata and I kept coming back to two images, wondering why I was attracted to them despite anything being extraordinary about them. Then it dawned on me that it wasn't the subject matter as much as it was the composition.

They were framed on waves, non-linear surfaces. In this case, they were on mounds of rubble hammering away to make more rubble. The pile they were sitting on was not a linear ebbed and flowed like a wave.

Additionally, the illusion of three dimensions is more prominent in such shots, especially if there is a lot of material on which subjects are perched, as in the above image. I went back through my archives and couldn't come up with any other examples of framing on waves. It's not a concept I'd thought of before nor read about anywhere. It's a happy discovery.

I don't expect to see this kind of composition often, if my archives are any indication. But it will be something I consciously look out for in the future. It helps to name such things, I'm thinking. Which is why 'framing on waves' is catchy enough and succinct enough as a description to incorporate it into my bag of compositional tricks.

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