Filling Frames on theoutershores

Drift bull kelp is one of my favorite subjects on sandy shores. The distant shot here is fine with me, but moving closer and lower allowed me to bring out details, and arguably, increase impact. Getting down on my belly to frame the more intimate shot was a pleasure. I like the feel of clean wet sand giving way beneath me. But I remember frustration creeping in too, over trouble I was having with framing and focus. I gave up before I got what I wanted.

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Here I was trying to showcase wave-caused erosion along the seaward edge of the backshore. There is perfect point that balances the risks of being too close or too far from the shelf. Where is it?

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This upside down root crown poses a framing challenge. My solution, though I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, was to let the long root run left, right out of the frame. 

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Over in the rocky intertidal, I was able to bring out the beauty and drama of Pisaster by filling the frame.

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How about this? The black turban, Tegula, doesn’t fill the frame, but there’s some kind of frame filling going on. It’s pretty close to how I would like it.

In this exercise in self examination it became clear, whether I’m thinking about it or not, framing has its presence, either on the surface or hidden below. It is surely influenced by worldview, which in my case seems biased toward contexualizing. The emphasis here on filling the frame got me thinking about how we handle tradeoffs between framing for impact versus context. The way I framed the black turban is an example of my native framing. By contrast, I knowingly framed the starfish for impact. Can I complement my natural context-motivated framing with conscious frame filling? Tradeoffs.

Filling the Frame