Off-Centre Framing

Framing a subject ‘off-centre’ does not come naturally to many photographers. It is a skill that has to be practiced. Editorial photographers have learnt (sometimes the hard way) that always placing your subject in the centre of the frame makes it difficult for the image to be used as a double-page-spread in a feature story and for copy or text to be incorporated into the image as part of the article.

Some subjects benefit from being placed in the centre of the frame (when symmetry is required) but most subjects benefit from having the focal point (the point in the image that is of most interest) placed away from the centre of the frame. There is the ‘Rule of Thirds’ and the ‘Golden Mean’ that can help guide photographers to create an off-centre composition, but these ‘golden rules’ can be overly restrictive in photographic practice when out in the field (and rules were meant to be broken).

Take a look at the last 100 portraits you captured and observe how often you place your subject in the centre of the frame. If you find that you rarely move your subject away from the centre of the frame then maybe you should try shooting for a week where you never place the subject in the centre (just to break an old habit).

Image capture in Dubai

Framing is a skill that is covered in the Sony Alpha Creative Workshop