Sub-framing is a composition technique in photography, where you put the subject or an object in a frame within the image. You can frame it with lines, other objects, out of focus areas, light and shadow areas to name a few.
I like to use sub-framing in my street photography to provide a more interesting point of view or show a bit of context. In general I want to create more visually interesting images and I like juxtaposing people with their environment. Framing interesting people or situations within their environment, especially other moving objects, just adds another layer to the idea of capturing a unique moment.
When I am taking pictures of sights (e.g. World Trade Centre or Big Ben) I usually can’t stop thinking that these have been photographed before millions of times. So when I am travelling I of course take the obvious choice of photos, but I also know that it has been done before and certainly has been done before way better. I am always striving to get a different picture of the sights, a different angle or some detail I find interesting, something a little bit unexpected. Often I achieve this through sub-framing:
Most of these compositions are different to the usual image of these sights, but just taken from a different point of view. However, I also try to find frames that are just there temporarily, e.g. the World Trade Centre framed within a graffiti within a building site window; can you call that “double sub-framing”!? ;-) The important point is though that in a few months when the construction work is done, this view will not exist anymore, making it also just a moment in time.
When I went to Washington I already knew what to expect from the sights. I’ve seen the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and the Abraham Lincoln memorial many a times before, in the news, on photographs and in movies. However I didn’t expect to see so many food trucks on Capitol Hill! Maybe I was just hungry, but it really captured my interest. Furthermore I am a foodie anyway and especially love street food, so I tried to incorporate the food trucks in my photos of the capitol, while still putting the emphasize on the main subject.