What Is Framing in Photography? How and When to Use It

© Provided by MUO

Photography is a powerful medium to tell stories, capture moments, freeze time, and showcase memories. And certain rules and techniques can help you make a good photo great.

Framing is one technique that uses either natural or artificial elements in the photograph to focus on a particular subject. It guides a viewer’s attention to your subject and tells a story through your image simultaneously. Let’s explore what framing is, and how and when to use it.

What Is Framing in Photography?

Framing in photography refers to the composition style of using natural or artificial elements to create a visual frame inside your image. The technique helps you focus viewers’ attention on your subject while adding depth, context, and a story to your image. There are different methods to use framing in a photograph.

Natural Frame

When shooting in a natural environment like a forest, lake, path, or river, you can use the naturally available elements as your frame. For instance, you can use trees, leaves, bushes, and rocks to create your frame.

In this situation, your subject will be the center of attention, and the natural elements like trees and rocks can block two or more edges of your image to create a frame. If you’d like to give this a shot, see our guide on how to get started with nature photography.

Architectural Frame

Using architectural elements to create a frame is very common among urban photographers. You can use a window, buildings, fences, and walls to create a frame for your photograph.

This type of frame is most commonly used when taking photos of cities. However, you can also use an architectural frame to capture images of humans, objects, or nature.

Geometric Shapes

Squares, triangles, and circles are common shapes in our environment. You can either use the shapes available to you or artificially create one to give depth to your image.

For instance, you can use your hands to create a heart shape and use it as a frame for your photograph. Similarly, you can use a circular mirror and place your subject in the reflection to create a stunning photograph.

Light and Shadows

Light and shadows are the unconventional yet appreciable way of making frames in your photo. This method uses lights like streetlamps, candles, or torches to create a frame. It works best in night photography.

Similarly, you can click a portrait with a spotlight on the subject and darkness in the remaining part of the composition—the light will create a circular frame.

When to Use Framing in a Photo

There is no right or wrong way of using the framing composition style in your photographs. However, if done incorrectly, it can divert the viewers’ attention from the subject, rendering the technique ineffective. Therefore, it is essential to understand when to use the framing technique, and when not to.

One simple rule is that if the photograph looks good as it is, there is no need to add frames forcefully. It might suffocate the image, making it look bulky or cluttered. Similarly, if you are already using any other composition style, adding a frame to it might ruin the effect.

However, using two compositions in a single photo has always been a healthy debate among photographers—it all comes down to trusting your gut. Here are some sure ways to know that framing will make your photographs look better.

Telling a Story

The framing technique can be a game changer when you are keen on telling a story through your photograph. A story can be the portrayal of emotions, combining conflicting ideas, and many other similar concepts.

For example, the above image uses buildings as a frame, and the subject is an airplane. It might represent freedom from corporate life.

Eliminating Chaos

If there is chaos in the image, framing can effectively bring viewers’ attention to the subject. One example is clicking a photograph in a crowd. A crowdy place has too many environmental elements that can draw attention away from the subject. In such cases, you can use a frame in your photograph to bring attention to your subject.

Showing Perspective

The framing technique is the best composition style when it comes to showing perspective. It helps show the viewers your perspective of the environment. For instance, a landscape view from within a room where you can use a window or door as a frame shows your view of the world.

Another common way is using a phone or camera as a frame, and the subject appears on the screen. It shows the perspective of the person taking the photo.

How to Use Framing in Photography

To successfully use the framing technique, consider the following points.

  • Identify the subject: The elementary part of using the framing technique is always keeping your subject and not the frame in focus. Identify your subject as well as the less important parts of the photo.
  • Identify the framing elements: Look around you to identify which elements from the scene are a good fit to use as a frame. Some examples can be trees, arches, geometric shapes, or contrasting elements.
  • Positioning the frame: Once you have identified your framing element, position it at the edges of your picture to create a visual boundary, which in turn guides the viewer’s eyes toward the subject.
  • Don’t overpower the subject: The frame should complement the subject and not compete with it. Ensure the frame does not overpower your subject by being distractive.
  • Use extreme angles: Using a low-angle or high-angle shot combined with framing can add more depth to your image, creating a dramatic and engaging composition.
  • Keep experimenting: Sometimes, hitting gold on the first attempt is hard. Therefore, experiment with different frames and pick the one that best suits your subject and the context.

Use Framing Composition in Your Photos

Framing is one of the best composition styles you can use in your photos. The technique uses natural or artificial elements from the scene to create a visual boundary in the picture and guide viewers’ attention toward the subject.

You can use this technique to tell a story, show your perspective, eliminate unimportant parts from the scene, or use it as a creative choice to make extraordinary images. The key is to have clarity about the context of the image, identify the subject and frame, and experiment until you achieve your desired goal.

Morning Fog: Oceanside Photo Of The Day

OCEANSIDE, CA — Patch reader and local photographer Jeff Prior captured this photo of Morning fog in Oceanside.

Jeff Prior is an Oceanside resident and owner of Water Wise Swim School. His swim school was closed for thirteen months due to Covid-19. It was during this time he really started to focus on his passion for photography…and documenting the beautiful scenery, landscape and wildlife (especially pelicans) of our coastal area. Jeff sells his photos at local events such as the Oceanside Artwalk and Vista Farmers Market as well as online at https://www.jeffpriorphotos.com/. His line of Jeff Prior Photos notecards can be found on Etsy.

Thanks for sharing!

If you have an awesome picture of nature, playful kids, a funny pet or something unusual you happen to catch with your camera, we’d love to feature it on Patch. We’re looking for high-resolution images that reflect the beauty that is Oceanside, and that show off your unique talents. Send your photos to lisa.frost@patch.com. Be sure to include photo credit information, when and where the shot was taken, and any other details about what was going on.

You also might enjoy:

Gisele Bundchen poses in nature as she plugs a fundraiser to help biodiversity

Gisele Bundchen took to Instagram on Thursday to share several scenic snaps of herself getting in tune with nature.

In her latest post, the 42-year-old supermodel was seen in her native country of Brazil to further participate in environmental efforts and show off the mesmerizing sights.

A couple of the photos in her carousel post also show the philanthropist posing with animals and planting trees with her two children — Benjamin, 13, and Vivian, 10. 

The brunette beauty — who recently opened up about her divorce and revealed she still has a lot of love for her ex-husband Tom Brady — looked stunning on the beach.

And in her caption she explained what she was up to. 

Stunning view: Gisele Bundchen, 42, took to Instagram to share several scenic snaps of herself getting in tune with nature on Thursday; the image is a throwback as she still has her wedding ring from Tom Brady on 

She wrote a lengthy caption encouraging more people to participate in sustainability efforts to protect nature. 

‘From planting trees, regenerating springs and depleted soils, and protecting turtles, jaguars … everything impacts nature. The power of nature comes from its diversity, and it depends on it for survival,’ she began.

‘Every form of life uniquely creates balance on Earth so all of life can flourish,’ said the star who has a home in Florida.

‘Like with people, our differences are also our strengths, and we get stronger when we work together.

‘Last year, I started a project called Biomes to help regenerate the biodiversity of Brazil,’ the Vogue model added.

‘From north to south, east to west, we selected seven projects in different regions of the country.

Planting seeds: She also shared a photo of her helping a child planting a tree and then a snap of her submerging seeds in soil with her son Benjamin and daughter Vivian — both of whom she shares with her former NFL partner

Cheerful: Bundchen looked radiant in the several snaps where she was helping out in regenerating and aiding the biosphere by planting greenery

Showing the love: In another photo, she showed off her trim model physique as she posed against and hugged the roots of a massive, towering tree

‘Each biome’s species have an important role in nature because everything is connected.

‘Now, together with The Luz Alliance Fund in partnership with @brazilfound on Saturday, May 20th in Miami, we are having a dinner to raise more funds to expand our efforts and have a more significant impact.’ 

The runway icon was smiling brightly up at the sky as she leaned out of a boat to touch the clear waters. 

The mother-of-two was seen in a sports bra and biker shorts as she observed and gently pet a turtle that was traveling along the shore.

She also shared a photo of her helping a child planting a tree.

And there was a snap of her submerging seeds in soil with her son Benjamin and daughter Vivian — both of whom she shares with her former NFL partner. 

Community: She also shared a sweet snap of herself holding hands and posing with the Indigenous people of Brazil wearing traditional accessories

Bundchen looked radiant in the several snaps where she was helping out in regenerating and aiding the biosphere by planting greenery. 

In another photo, she showed off her trim model physique as she posed against and hugged the roots of a massive, towering tree. 

She also shared a sweet snap of herself holding hands and posing with the Indigenous people of Brazil wearing traditional accessories. 

At one point during her trip home, a colorful parrot appeared to have landed on her car and she took a quick snap of the perfect moment. 

She also shared a before-and-after photo of a small corner in Brazil that was positively affected by planting more trees to regenerate the biodiversity and wildlife of Brazil. 

Fleeting moments: At one point during her trip home, a colorful parrot appeared to have landed on her car and she took a quick snap of the perfect moment

After a decade: She also shared a before-and-after photo of a small corner in Brazil that was positively affected by planting more trees to regenerate the biodiversity and wildlife of Brazil

Stewartry photographer snaps up success in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards

A Stewartry man is celebrating success in the Scottish Nature Photography Awards.

Duncan McNaught won the botanical category with his Autumn Beech image.

Delighted Duncan, who lives in New Galloway, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have taken first place.

“Blessed where I live surrounded by trees, I’d ventured out early one morning into the grounds of Kenmure Castle.

“A light mist had formed overnight creating the most moody scene in front of me, some of the beech trees had hung onto their golden leaves.

“It was these and the soft light that drew me to take the image. I feel it showed the sense of calm I experienced that morning, no one around, just me and my camera which I love to do often.”

Two of Duncan’s other photographs were shortlisted in the award and these, along with his winning shot, will feature in the awards’ portfolio yearbook.

First Superior SNAPS photo competition is open – Boulder Daily Camera

Superior has announced the town’s first-ever photo contest to celebrate hometown pride.

The SNAPS photo contest is open to all Superior residents, including those displaced by the Marshall Fire. For the inaugural competition, residents may submit one photo per person that captures the beauty of the town, whether it be a place, person, pet, nature or event.

Residents must submit their photo on the Shape Superior website by 5 p.m. April 17.

Photos will be reviewed by three judges composed of Superior staff members, and the winners of the competition will be contacted by email between April 26-28. Selected photos will then be printed, framed and fully assembled to be displayed at the Superior Community Center from June to September.

For more information about the competition’s selection process and criteria, visit the Shape Superior website.

Stunning image of spider scoops Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2022

© Frank Urban
Scottish Wildlife Portrait category and overall winning image, Cucumber Green Spider

A photo competition based in the country of Scotland has today announced its winners of the annual Scottish Nature Photography Awards 2022. Some of the winning images have been captured by photographers as young as 12 years old

63-year-old retired photographer, Frank Urban, has won the prestigious title of Scottish Nature Photographer of the year, as well as the Scottish Wildlife Portrait award for his superb image of a neon green spider.

These are the best cameras for wildlife photography in 2023

An image of a tiny green spider has won Frank Urban not only the Scottish Wildlife Portrait category, but he has also been selected as the overall winner of the prestigious Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2022. 

Speaking of his image, Frank shared that, “I am sixty-three and retired from work around five years ago. I happily fill my days with walking and photography, and find that my local area, which includes the Campsie Fells and the Forth and Clyde Canal is ideal for both. For this photograph though, I had been working in the garden when I noticed this colorful spider on the handle of a garden tool.”

He continues, “I knew this was called a Cucumber Green Spider from a previous sighting and thought I would try to photograph it. I was really delighted how well it turned out. I used a blade of grass to move it to a safer spot in the garden.”

Judges of the competition included photographers Dougie Cunningham, James Roddie and Niall Irvine, who each saw the potential in Frank’s image. Irvine has stated that “Frank’s image draws you into the miniature world of the spider. It’s an excellent example of awareness of the proximity of nature in our immediate environment and an appreciation of its beauty.”

• Take a look at last year’s awesome winning image from the Scottish NPA 2021 of a muirburn mountain fire trail!

The winner of the Junior Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2022 (under-18s) was Jessie Morris from Durham. Jessie is just 13 years old, and her winning image titled ‘Rush Hour’ features a mass amount of gulls arriving at the same time to roost. 

Jessie shares that she has been particularly interested in bird photography since the age of eight, and said she was shocked that the judging panel chose her image. “Hidden away on moorland north of Berwick, we waited at the edge of a loch for pink-footed geese to arrive” She explained. 

“It turned out, however, that the shot of the day was gulls roosting on the water. A low exposure captured them settling down for the night. The busyness of the shot as they squabbled for the best positions reminded me of the hustle and bustle of the evening rush hour.”

Another winner of the competition was Maria Christidi, awarded with the title of Student Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year 2022. Maria is a Fine Arts student at the University of Dundee studying for her BA qualification, and her series of abstract images titled ‘Physis’ is what earned her the prestigious title. 

The series explores the relationship between humans and nature, and features a portfolio of three submitted images to the competition, working together as a collection. She has shared that, “We view nature at the periphery of our everyday life, maybe walking through parks or nature reserves when the toll of our modern hyper-urbanized lifestyle is too much. As a result, nature tends to be viewed as a foreign object that acts to us as a form of escapism.” 

“By taking close-up shots which emphasize the unruly characteristics of natural subjects, the viewer can question their relationship with nature more closely and view it in its true fragility rather than it being solely a source of entertainment.”

The full gallery of winners for this year’s competition can be viewed on the Scottish Nature Photography Awards website, as well as the short nature film by Andy S Hayes that won the Scottish Nature Video Award, among the other runners-up. 

The image collection will tour as an exhibition later this year, and will be published along with the shortlisted entries in a Portfolio Yearbook to be released this summer.

• You might also be interested in the best portable hides and camouflage gear for photographing wildlife, as well as the best action cameras, and the best spotting scopes to never miss a moment.

Take a look at our guide to the best lenses for bird photography and wildlife, as well as the best trail cameras and the best cellular trail cameras to capture the more easily spooked or timid subjects.

Second Nature Brands recalls Gluten Free Reese’s Pieces Brownie Brittle

The product may contain wheat, an allergen not declared on the label

Photo source: FDA

Second Nature Brands of Madison Heights, Mich., is recalling Gluten Free Reese’s Pieces Brownie Brittle.

The product may contain wheat, an allergen not declared on the label.

One illness has been reported to date.

The recalled product, which comes in a 4-oz pouch, UPC 711747011562 marked with lot codes SG 1054 15/NOV/2023 1S and SG 1054 15/NOV/2023 2S on the back of the pouch, was sold nationwide in retail stores and online.

What to do

Customers with an allergy or sensitivity to wheat who purchased the recalled product should not consume it, but contact the firm for a full refund.

Consumers may contact the company by at (800) 651-7263 Monday – Friday from 8:30AM – 5:00PM (EST) or by email at recall@browniebrittle.com.

Looking for short term health insurance?

Shop plans on Health Network now

Get quote now

On teen crushes, photo insecurities and great sock heists – Chicago Tribune

“Ask Anna” is a sex column. Because of the nature of the topic, some columns contain language some readers may find graphic.

Dear Anna,

OMG, my crush just slid into my DMs and we’ve been chatting nonstop for the past week! I’m sooo into him, but I don’t know if he feels the same way. How do I know if he’s interested in me or just being friendly? Should I make a move or wait for him to make a move? — Seriously Over Stimulated

Dear SOS,

First of all, congrats on getting your crush’s attention and hitting it off so well! When you’re a teenager, which I’m presuming you are, it’s pretty much the most exciting thing ever.

Per your question, it can be pretty difficult to tell if someone is just being friendly or if they’re interested in you romantically, especially online.

One way to gauge their interest is to pay attention to the way they “talk” to you in these messages. Are they using flirty emojis or dropping hints about wanting to hang out in person? Do they seem genuinely interested in getting to know you on a deeper level, or are they just making small talk? These could be signs that they’re interested in you romantically.

But the only bona fide (bone-a-fide?) way of knowing whether someone’s into you is to make a move. I know, scary! But the reward is usually worth the risk. Plus, you don’t need to, like, hire a lute player to serenade him or place a trail of rose petals from his locker to yours. (Though major romance points if you do go that route!)

If you’re feeling brave, try asking your crush out on a casual one-on-one hang, like grabbing coffee or going for a walk. This will give you a chance to get to know each other a little better in person and see if there’s a spark.

But if you’re not ready to make a move yet, that’s totally OK too. You can always continue chatting with him and getting to know him, and see if things escalate (that is, see if he builds up the courage to make a move).

Dear Anna,

My partner (29F) keeps stealing my (33F) socks! I don’t know what to do — every time I do laundry, half of my socks are missing. I don’t know if she just legitimately doesn’t know which socks are hers or if she just doesn’t think it matters, but I know they’re not just getting lost in the wash. My feet are cold! How do I get my partner to stop taking my socks without starting a fight? — Dire Effects For Every Evolving Thing


Congratulations on the greatest advice question ever written. You’ve completely imploded the expression “cold feet” and have brought to light an issue (queer people stealing each other’s clothes to the irritation of their partners) that almost never gets its due diligence.

As an avid clothes-stealer, I apologize on behalf of our kind. Sometimes I steal my partner’s clothes because I’m bored with what I have and hers are shiny and novel by comparison. Sometimes it’s laziness. Sometimes I want to feel close to her and wearing her things makes me feel special and insider-y (literally).

First, try having a lighthearted conversation with your partner about her sock habits and find out what her intentions are (if any). Maybe she doesn’t even realize she’s taking your socks or thinks it’s a harmless habit. You could make a joke about starting a sock-sharing system or suggest buying matching socks to avoid confusion.

If that doesn’t work, you could try labeling your socks with your initials or a specific color so that they’re easier to identify. This way, your partner will know that those socks belong to you and are not up for grabs.

Also, socks do end up lost in the wash, even when nobody is attempting great sock heists. If the issue is just that your partner doesn’t have enough to begin with and resorts to stealing yours out of necessity, then go sock shopping together. You can even get passive aggressive ones that say “thief” on them to remind her of her inexcusable transgressions. I kid.

Remember that the most important thing is to approach the issue with a sense of humor and open communication. Try not to get too worked up over a few missing socks — in the grand scheme of things, it’s a small problem that can be easily solved with a bit of teamwork and compromise.

Dear Anna,

My boyfriend frequently comments on the physical attractiveness of other women, including celebrities and people on Instagram, and it’s really starting to hurt my feelings. I feel like it’s disrespectful, especially because I don’t make similar comments about men in front of him. Do you think I’m overreacting, or is it reasonable to expect my boyfriend to be more considerate of my feelings? — Photo Insecurities Coming Strong

Dear PICS,

It depends. Have you told him to knock off the comments and he does it anyway? Or have you not mentioned it to him and are silently simmering every time he drools over Cate Blanchett? If it’s the former, then yeah, that’s a dick move, and it would behoove you to bring it up again, more vehemently this time. If it’s the latter, then tell him you don’t like it. Give him a chance to change his behavior.

But also, you’re letting your insecurity get the best of you and escalate a situation that’s, on the surface at least, pretty benign. Hot people are everywhere! They’re (often) not a threat to your relationship. The trouble usually comes from our own inner garbage angel, which is the little hater voice inside of us that tells us we’re not good enough. When you hear your boyfriend say, “That person is hot!” your garbage angel is like, “You’re not as hot as her, therefore you’re worthless and soon your bf will leave you for Janelle Monae.”

When none of that is remotely true!

You might find that you can quell the garbage angel by intentionally not comparing yourself to whatever photoshopped, glammed-up person’s pic is on social media. You might also try having fun with it. Rating celebrities’ hotness is practically our job as Americans. A job we don’t get paid for but one we take seriously nonetheless. “Yeah, Cate is looking super babely in that photo. But if we’re having a celebrity threesome, I’d prefer Kristen Stewart.”

Easier said than done, I know, but with practice it gets easier. Plus, he’s not the only one who should be having the fun. The next time he points out some hottie on Insta, you should feel entitled to do the same. If he gets butthurt about it, then maybe he’ll keep future photos to himself next time.

Anna Pulley is a syndicated Tribune Content Agency columnist answering reader questions about love, sex and dating. Send your questions via email (anonymity guaranteed) to redeyedating@gmail.com, sign up for her infrequent (yet amazing) newsletter or check out her books!

The Embodiment of Nature’s Strength “Igneous” Arrives in Black Desert Mobile

Pearl Abyss announced today that the new class “Igneous” has arrived in Black Desert Mobile. The arrival of the new class brings with it an array of events to celebrate his appearance. 

Wizard awakens to become Igneous, the embodiment of nature’s strength who has reached the pinnacle of magic. He possesses an ability to use the elemental powers of “Marg,” the Fire Guardian, and “Arne,” the Water Guardian.

With the “Godr Sphera” as his Main Weapon, and the “Elemental Grimoire” as his Sub-Weapon, Igneous uses elemental power to trap enemies and strike them down with blazing fires. His elemental magic is capable of restricting enemy movement and attacks while deploying massive area-of-effect attacks to easily overcome multiple foes. 

Igneous starts with 4 active skills and learns additional skills by leveling up. His most deadly skills are as follows: 

  • Aqua Jail Explosion: Igneous creates a barrier of ice-cold water to trap and overwhelm enemies. 
  • Calamity: Igneous unleashes his rage onto a wide area with burning flames. 
  • Bolide of Destruction: Igneous summons a powerful fireball and hurls it to the ground. No enemies shall remain where it drops. 
  • Savantgarde: Igneous remains calm and collected amidst an inferno of rage to maintain control of the battlefield. 

A variety of events have begun to celebrate Igneous’ arrival in Black Desert Mobile, including daily missions and special log-in events. Moreover, Adventurers can receive “Igneous’ Arcana” from their in-game mailbox every day until April 10. This and other items can be exchanged for Sun Crystals, Dimensional Fragments, and Shadow Knots.

Visit Black Desert Mobile‘s official website for more information. 

Watch the Igneous’ video: 

  • Trailer: https://youtu.be/MvzAOJKb9VA 
  • Combat showcase: https://youtu.be/6OK1lY6g8RQ 
  • Preview: https://youtu.be/lph8CvvkRV8 

About Black Desert IP 

The Black Desert IP is Pearl Abyss’ open-world action MMORPG franchise with cutting-edge visuals and skill-based combat that redefines the genre. With the most developed character customization system of any game currently on the market, users can break out of the norm and make unique characters that truly represent themselves. Its intuitive controls, beautifully designed world, and extensive lore will excite both newcomers and veterans of MMO games and action RPGs. Pearl Abyss is currently servicing the Black Desert IP, which has gained 50 million players across the world on PC, mobile, and console. 

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2041962/Image__The_Embodiment_of_Nature_s_Strength__Igneous__Arrives_in_Black_Desert_Mobi.jpg
Caption – The Embodiment of Nature’s Strength “Igneous” Arrives in Black Desert Mobile

Source: PRNewswire/InfoQuest

Announcing the Winners of Smithsonian Magazine’s 20th Annual Photo Contest | Arts & Culture

What a photograph subtly suggests or even conceals is sometimes just as important as what’s clearly on display. Skilled photographers know a bit of mystery can make an image that much more compelling–a contrast to what’s often overshared in pictures and video on social media. In today’s society, images often leave little to the imagination, but in his “Wild Mountain Hares Fighting” submission, the Grand Prize winner of our 20th Annual Photo Contest, Arnfinn Johansen, captures a moment that leaves one wondering.

That could be said for all of this year’s winners: the obscured faces of mask-wearing girlfriends out on the town, a pair of rhinoceroses either running away or charging, a singular subject sitting in solitude in the darkness of dawn, and the shadowy silhouettes of figures hidden in plain sight. These are just some of the top scenes that offer just enough to stir emotions, pull viewers in and raise poignant questions, leaving it up to the beholders to interpret the art for themselves.

The diversity of this year’s entries is fitting for the 20th anniversary of this annual competition, which has grown to include more than 32,690 images submitted by nearly 7,000 photographers from 190 countries and territories.

To explore more, check out all of this year’s Photo Contest finalists.

Grand Prize

Wild Mountain Hares Fighting. Photographed in Rorosvidda Mountains, Norway, April 2021

Arnfinn Johansen

Among the peaks of a range in Norway, nocturnal mountain hares violently compete for the opportunity to procreate. It’s mating season, a fight for life. Arnfinn Johansen, 57, who has been practicing nature photography since 1980, recalled that there were five or six hares present during the bout. “They fought each other two and two. Then, the others stayed away watching.” Johansen was also a patient observer, spending eight or nine hours in a nearby cabin shooting through the darkness. Previously, Johansen worked strictly in black and white, and he preferred this photograph without color. “It simplifies and reduces distractions,” he says.

American Experience

First to Vote. Photographed in Atlanta, November 2022

Rory Doyle

On assignment for an Amsterdam newspaper to document the November 2022 midterm elections in the United States, Rory Doyle, 39, headed out before sunrise and came across this lone citizen, who was quietly determined to exercise her fundamental right to vote. She arrived at her polling place even before it opened. “The narrative of the lack of care or the lack of participation gets more attention than people who are willing to literally bring a chair and
a book before the sun is up,” Doyle says.


The Big Top Tent at Fringe by the Sea. Photographed in North Berwick, Scotland, August 2021

Andrew Smith

If you come across a big tent, it’s natural to wonder what’s happening inside. Andrew Smith, 42, who has been photographing with drones since 2017, wondered what was on top of this colorful canopy in his hometown. Positioning his camera to point directly down on the tent, he was delighted and surprised by the symmetry and vibrant colors, says Smith, who appreciates photos that cause an instant reaction. “This was one of those moments for me. I think both the photographer and the viewer recognize it when they experience it. I don’t think it can be qualified or deconstructed. I think you just need to feel it.”


Lollipop. Photographed in Tokyo, October 2022

Jonny Dub

“Who are these gnarly girls?” That’s one question Jonny Dub, 42, would expect viewers to ask when they see the ski-mask-covered, pink-hued candy consumers he encountered in Tokyo’s Shibuya district last Halloween. Dub, who learned the basics of the art as a teen while assisting his father, an advertising photographer, says this picture, snapped before the women realized he was photographing them, was the most authentic of the bunch. He likes that this scene allows people to imagine a story of their own, one that “leaves the viewer wanting to know more about the characters and fills them with a sense of intrigue.”

Artistic Images

Tower of Babel. Photographed in Elburn, Illinois, June 2022

Tracy Whiteside

Tracy Whiteside, 63, a former musical theater teacher, knows how to bring drama to works on and off the stage. In her home studio, using just Styrofoam balls, a cone, hairpins, lots of spray, a blond wig, makeup and a pink tablecloth, she created this fanciful portrait of her grandchildren’s nanny. Whiteside prefers profiles with little expression, which she finds more artistic than a smile. Still, says Whiteside, who has 20 years of photography experience, “I just want people to appreciate the fun in it.”

Natural World

Chasing Rhinos. Photographed in Assam, India, July 2021

Prabir Kumar Das

It was like a scene from Jurassic Park—but with raging rhinoceroses instead of a Tyrannosaurus. Prabir Kumar Das, 46, and his driver were on safari in a vehicle at Kaziranga National Park in India observing and photographing wildlife. “Two rhinos, chasing one another, entered into the frame,” he recalls. “They both were coming toward our car dangerously.” The driver threw the car into reverse to get away. Das, a chemistry teacher, is willing to take risks for his photography hobby, which has become his passion. He now focuses on wildlife and prefers Kaziranga National Park for “its natural beauty along with its exceptional ambience.”


Dancing Silhouettes. Photographed in Chitwan, Nepal, October 2022

Annemarie Jung

Annemarie Jung, 51, who lives in Luxembourg, traveled to Nepal during festival season on a last-minute trip before starting a new job in the finance industry last fall. Her newly developed enthusiasm for photography was a surprise. “I considered myself the least creative person on earth,” she says. For this winning photograph, Jung and her guide arrived too late to the festival to see the Nepalese dancers perform. However, they provided an encore for the duo, whose photography session drew a crowd of interested villagers and revelers. “They all gathered around us and wanted to see the pictures we were taking. It was lovely,” says Jung, who didn’t mind lying down in the grass to get the best shot.

Readers’ Choice

Ice and Fire. Photographed in Muji Village, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, June 2022

Yuepeng Bao

You don’t happen upon China’s Muji Crater by chance, as photographer Yuepeng Bao, 32, can attest. The journey was quite challenging. “It took us three hours to drive on a poorly maintained mountain road, and we had to pass through two border checkpoints,” says Bao, who suffered from altitude sickness, headaches and swelling to reach this destination. Taking the trek with family members made it more enjoyable for Bao, whose photography hobby helps “alleviate stress from work [as an urban planner] and daily life.” The resulting image of the colorful natural wonder against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains and blue skies made the trip worthwhile, says Bao, adding, “It’s crucial that we demonstrate respect and take measures to preserve” these natural landscapes.