Photo tip: fill the frame

Get in tight and focus on details

Get in tight and focus on details


Photo tip: fill the frame


This is a series of photography tips that I am introducing weekly on my photo blog to help you with a new focused tip to work to master your camera and photography. Today our focus is on filling up the frame which basically means to either zoom in tight to your subject or move your camera closer to your subject and target the most important aspect of the shoot that you want to have sharp and detailed.


Filling up the frame forces you to keep your background simple and clean. Getting in closer to your subject eliminates distracting elements and cluttered backgrounds that detract from the imagery. Choose backgrounds that are soft or slightly out of focus to make the viewer focus directly on the foreground and subject being presented.

Getting in closer to your subject allows for you to see more details and emphasize any mood, characteristic or emotion that your subject might be exposing at a particular time frame. This adds to a viewers interest in the subject when you can zoom in and add something unique about your subject that tells us a little more about who they are or what you  want to emphasize about your subject.


When you zoom into your subject, this gives the observer a more focused view to look at all the details and close up imagery that hopefully connects us to your subject.  Emphasizing crisp details, make sure that you focus exactly on the areas that you want to be sharp in your presentation, this can be done manually or you can make changes to your camera settings to place the focus on certain areas of the viewfinder that will allow for selective focus. Automatic settings to focus tend to have a general focus within your composition and sharpness is concentrated on the areas of first contact  –  keep readjusting your focus if it does not work correctly to what you want.  Also, experiment with selective or manual focus to learn and see how your camera reacts to these settings and how they affect your composition.


Keep practicing and training your eye on what you want to emphasize and highlight in your compositions – sometimes you want to show more or less depending on the subject, mood, foreground and backgrounds. As you fill in your frame, think about what is it that you want to share with your viewers and if this tells us enough or create a story that keeps us engaged with the subject.   This is a technique of filling up the frame is effective to use for portraiture, wildlife or animals or any subject that you portray better in a macro composition.


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11 Responses to Photo tip: fill the frame

  1. Mary @Green Global Travel July 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Great tips about filling the frame. I’m usually so concerned with the thirds that I forget about using this powerful technique.

  2. Heather July 24, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    Getting in close was always my biggest struggle, but I’m working through it. I’ve been practicing on flowers and my dinners 🙂 Love all the tips, keep them coming!

  3. Penny Sadler July 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Nice Work!

  4. Lillie - @WorldLillie July 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    I’m learning so much from all the photo tips on this site!

  5. Dale July 21, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Loving these tips. Make them daily instead and perhaps one day I’ll be able to compete with your photography.

  6. Laura @Travelocafe July 21, 2014 at 1:43 am #

    Wonderful, well thought tips. Specially for someone new to this world of images.

  7. Valen-This Way Paradise July 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    This is a great way to make sure what you are taking a photo of really pops. I like the simplicity!

  8. Marilyn Armstrong July 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    I’m trying to learn to leave a little space for cropping. Starting with film, I tend to crop in the viewfinding, but because the size of pictures right out of the camera is never exactly right for framing or fitting into a montage, I need to shoot a little looser. Most people though, need to learn to move in and not be afraid of getting close. Especially for portraits!

  9. wandering educators July 20, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Great tips! it’s hard to make ourselves do this, but the rewards are, as you have shown, incredibly beautiful and worth it!

  10. Gran Canaria Local July 20, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    We like this advice. From now on, we’ll resolve to simplify our photos. Currently, they have a tendency to get a little busy.


  1. Photo Tip: the rule of thirds | Travel Photo DiscoveryTravel Photo Discovery - August 4, 2014

    […] If you enjoyed reading this tip you may also like this post I did recently on filling up the frame, you can check it out here. […]

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