Building Visual Depth in the Frame

I strive to make images that hold the viewer’s attention. I want them to get lost up in there.  Ideally, holding their attention for long enough that the image becomes that elusive portal to the ephemeral; memory.  (clearly my winter reading on Proust is coming through. le smirk) Mark Higgins asked me to post about building depth in an image.  I recently shot with him in Newport, and I pulled a few images from that wedding as examples of how I like to use layers within the frame.  Below is an example of using a very shallow depth of field, including elements (in this case the repeated shape and form that make up the adult groomsmen) as a framing device around the ring bearer.  Our eyes, drawn to the sharpest, highest contrast part of the image, go immediately to the little boy.


One of the most delightful things about second shooting is that you get to play!  Mark, I knew, would be capturing the entrances from the ballroom, and I had seen this glass table top in the room where the wedding party was waiting.  I visualized using the doorway as a framing device (oh yes geometery!), and the reflection as a component to the final image as well. The foreground is a room with a doorway, which is mostly out of focus. Through the doorway we see the couple dancing in the middle ground.  The wedding party lining the dance floor under the swag drapes are in the background.


In this image of the groom dancing with is mother, I wanted to eliminate the visual distractions of the guests with their point and shoots crowding the dance floor.  Shooting from below, and through some very out of focus water glasses on the head table.    Here I enhanced the sense of depth in the frame by exploring the optical qualities of the lens. Plus it is very pink.