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Project 52 Week 45: “Framing”

I made it back for this week’s topic in the 52 Week Pet Photography Challenge on Orientation of Frame.  We are exploring David Duchemin’s Chapter from his Visual Toolbox book that deals with “portraits” vs. “landscapes”.  He talks about choosing whether “a story is to be read vertically or horizontally”.   A horizontal framing usually includes much more information.  I do a lot of “portraits”, especially when photographing shelter dogs.  My main focus is on the connection with the pet, therefore in this case I crop vertically.  When doing photos on trail hikes, another favorite for me, I tend to shoot more in the horizontal mode – where much of the background whether it is trees, the colors of leaves, the flowers – are included.

In Duchemin’s assignment he asks us to “identify the heart of our story:  is it vertical or horizontal?”  And he asks, “will one framing or another give you more energy or stop that energy from gaining momentum?”

I decided to revisit a pet photography photo shoot I did just last week, choose a few photos, and see if changing the framing orientation changes the effect/impact of the photo.

The first 2 photos are of handsome Jase and mom on a recent photo shoot at Maudslay State Park in Newburpyport, MA.  The first picture I included in mom’s gallery – I was drawn to something about the leash connecting to a part of mom (sliver of her shirt and pants).  At the time, I thought the negative space “worked”.  Fast forward to this assignment and I decide to try a vertical crop.  Guess what?  I think I like it better!  It seems to add an “intimacy” to the photograph and validates the connected relationship with Jase and mom.  What are your thoughts?


Jase Pitbull
Jase focused on Mom


Jase Pitbull


The next photo has Jase trotting along and looking into the direction of the autumn colors.  I automatically went with the horizontal crop and this was the way I had lined it up when I took it.  I love the negative space with the colorful leaves  in the background.  I hadn’t tried a vertical crop from the beginning.  I do prefer the horizontal framing in this one.  I think it has to do with Jase standing up and looking off in a specific direction.


Maudslay State Park Pet Photography
“Watching Autumn”


Pitbull Pet Photography
“Jase Watching”


And the last one I framed horizontal, even though Jase was “sitting”.  This was so I could keep the negative space of the fall colors and because he was on the left side of the frame looking toward the right.  Going back to this one, it’s a toss up on which one I do prefer.  Thoughts?


Jase Maudslay State Park Pet Photo Shoot
“Deep thoughts”


Jase Pitbull Pet Photography Maudslay
“More Deep Thoughts”

Jase was a wonderful model and we had a great day for some color!  I’m sad that fall is coming to an end.  It’s my favorite time of year to take photos!

Thanks for stopping by our Blog Circle this week!  Click on the next link and check out Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati and the San Francisco Bay Area to see Susannah’s take on this week’s topic.  Enjoy!!!



8 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 45: “Framing””

  1. It’s fun to see the differences in your orientation! Great approach!

    To answer your question regarding your last image, I prefer the horizontal crop as I think including more of the fallen tree to the side of Jase adds a bit more detail to the story.

  2. Wow! I am in love with this dog and these images. The colors are AMAZING! I might prefer all of them in portrait… which isn’t usually how I frame a shot so that’s interesting that I’d say that about these. Love love love them all (and this dog!!)

    1. Isn’t Jase a beautiful boy?!!! 🙂 I’m the same way with framing and usually don’t even try too many in portrait- great topic this week and now it will make me try new things! Thanks so much, Kim!

  3. Oh my gosh, what a wonderful model! Your images are wonderful. I love the one of Jase staring off into the distance, and I do like the horizontal orientation on that one. For your last image, I would keep the vertical crop, but add more of the tree, as mentioned by Jessica above. Great examples!

    1. He was an awesome model!!! Thank you, Elaine! Good idea about adding more of the tree stump and keeping the vertical crop – going to try that!

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