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I have presented several ways to add frames to our photographies and improve them, in a series of posts in this blog. As a result, you may get more attractive images to your public. 

However, there was still an open point: the classic approach to composition. 

Since many centuries ago, it was observed that perfect centering is not the best approach for artistic expression. This is the origin (for example) of the rule of thirds. 

This way, almost all modern civilizations worked on composition and harmony, defining concepts like the golden ratio.

This is based in specific displacement, starting from a well defined aspect ratio.In photography, the traditional technique used to displace the image slightly to the upper side in the frame or passe-par-tout. 

In general printing, contents were also displaced towards one of the sides to allow, for example, for enhanced binding or (typically) to include side iconography and comments.


Positioning process in photography is as follows: 

  • Place the picture on the upper left corner of the background or frame
  • Draw A-B and C-D lines, as center lines for the remaining space.
  • Draw E-D line as in the sketch
  • Point F defines the position of the lower right corner of the photography.

This process enables the quick definition of this position for whatever two aspect ratios, so that you may frame landscape or porttrait pictures in a square frame, or vice-versa.

In digital techniques, we would follow similar steps as the above:

  • Starting with the image and frame dimensions in pixels, we can calculate the amount of pixels to leave on each side, if centered.
  • In the "resize canvas" window, we may select "Center" upon introduction of the new canvas dimensions (but this is not really needed...)
  • Last step is to add the vertical displacement. According to the sketch, you must calculate this displacement as (G/H) * I.


OK, If I have a landscape image, 800 x 600 pixels, and I want it to be inside a 1024 x 768 frame (resolution of many monitors...), the mean distances would be: 

(1024 - 800)/2 = 112

(768 - 600)/2 = 84

As a result, G = 84; H = 1024; I = 112. Required distance would be 9.18 pixels - so we will use 9. Now, vertical displacement would be 84 + 9 = 93 (inferior) and 84 - 9 = 75 above...

P1030099n bn752525vf final2p

The only point depending on yourself will be the selection of the size and final format. This depends on your personal preferences, the photography itself and your plan for the exhibition...

marcos 3135 bn0-25-75 600x800 fp

In case of a portrait picture with the same dimensions, we get a value of 12.25 (from (112/768)*84), so we would use the integer value of 12 for the vertical displacement.

You might also like...

Advanced frames with GIMP (II)

Advanced frames with GIMP (I)

Improved frames in GIMP

Basic framing with GIMP

More posts on GIMP...

Tag(s) : #Photography