Stories Of The Everyday - Frames

sarah mason photography yorkshire

For us, in our photographs, we’re always tying to create a feeling of depth. We’re taking images in 2D of a 3D scene, and using various compositional elements in photos can really help to recreate this. So we thought it would be great to experiment with one of these elements for our next Stories Of The Everyday monthly theme.

You have the frame of your actual image, but we wanted to explore FRAMES within that frame. We’re thinking trees, windows, mirrors, shooting through objects, using people in the foreground, doorways, curtains. Once you start seeing frames around you, both indoors and out, it can really help bring your images to life. We wanted to share a few examples that you might like to try. We hope it gives you a bit of inspiration to go out there and try your own frame shots. We’d love to see your photos this month using the hashtag #storiesoftheeveryday_frames

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Thanks to our friend Dean for braving the cold so I could take the following shots, using the frame of the car windscreen.

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And switched focus between the two for a different feel.

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I used the frame of the doorway into Olive’s room to take a before and after shot…

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You will often see this technique below on TV or in films. When 2 people are having a conversation, the camera position is often over the shoulder of one of the characters. When the conversation shifts, the shot changes to over the shoulder of the other character. It’s a great technique to lead your eye in, frame, and create depth. I framed over Suzi’s shoulder with the washing clothes horse blurred out in the background left.

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Framing can be coupled with other compositional elements, for example, leading lines…

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And I love how you can subtly frame a subject by shooting through something. More often than not for me, this is leaves. I have the leaves pretty much touching the lens, get right in there!

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There’s nothing subtle about this frame, those silver birch trees made the perfect window.

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If you’ve just got your phone, try it there too. I held my phone right up to this wooden post to shoot through to the view on the opposite side of the valley.

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We went for a little walk around our village looking for different frames. We knew there were some strong stone frames at the church, but I found this frame of light too.

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Once you start seeing frames, it can really lift your photography. You’ve probably already been using them, but maybe this post will whet your appetite for trying a few more! We hope you find it useful, we’d love to hear your thoughts, and of course, see your photos! The hashtag to use on Instagram is #storiesoftheeveryday_frames. We’ll do a round up of all our shots at the end of the month.

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Stories of the Everyday - Winter Light

Sarah Mason Photography Monthly Theme

And in the blink of an eye, here we are wishing January a fond farewell and welcoming in a new month. We hope it’s been a good start to the year for you. After talking about having monthly themes to our Stories Of The Everyday Instagram hashtag for a while, it felt good to launch it this month. We’ve loved watching this community grow, our Friday round ups showing all our weeks in photos, and the interactions between everyone.

We’ve always thought having a theme can really help focus your mind when you’re taking photos, so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming when you’re out and about with your camera. As we are in the depths of winter, with the sun low in the sky, and with it being one of our favourite subjects to talk about, we thought our first theme should be Winter Light. Thanks to everyone for joining in. We’ve had cosy home days, snowy adventures, big skies, winter beach walks and the first signs of spring. Here are a selection of shots. As we launched this on Instagram, we have credited the photos and linked to Instagram accounts. Would you like to join in in February? Our theme is Frames. Think framing your subject by windows, doors, trees, mirrors, people. It’s a great compositional tool to make your photos stand out. We’ll be posting about it on Instagram over the next couple of days. And please share with anybody you know who’d like to join in.

But for now, let’s celebrate all that is winter light, and embrace its golden glow.

Great Uncle Harry

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I’ve been really drawn to documenting rural life ever since I picked my first camera up. When I loaded my first roll of 35 mm film into my old Minolta on Boxing Day 1981, I looked out of my bedroom window and watched the sheep in the field behind our house. It was a Christmas card scene with powdery snow on the ground, and the outlines of the big oak tree were framed with a thin layer of white dust. I took my camera out as the afternoon light was fading, and took my first picture on my first camera. I know this photo is at Mum and Dad’s house somewhere, and writing this is making me want to find it!

And now in our commercial work, we’re enjoying working with companies who are based, and work in and with the countryside. This comes from a love of rural life that is an intrinsic part of both me and Suzi. We both have families who have or who are still farming. I’ve been wanting to take photos of my Great Uncle Harry on his farm for a while. I remember going to visit him and my Great Aunty Nora during school holidays. It always seemed such a treat to travel around the farm in their Land Rover, hanging on for dear life in the back as we were jostled over fields and bumpy farm tracks!

I took a trip over to his farm a couple of weeks to see Harry and my cousin Nicholas. We sat at the kitchen table with endless cups of tea, enjoyed a roast dinner cooked in the Aga, and looked at old photos whilst we chatted about farming life and family. I loved taking these photos, it was good to spend some time with Harry and Nicholas.

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This is a little half pint bottle my uncle used to have for the milk the dairy farm produced. This was before the days of pasteurisation.

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This was the perfect day to ease me back into shooting again after taking off time to be with Olive and Suzi. I learnt so much, including the difference between straw and hay which I feel really embarrassed about! I heard family anecdotes I’d never heard before, and realised how much I want to document my own family’s life. I’m heading back soon to make a film with Harry and record some of those stories. It was good to spend a day with him.

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