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    Frame: the borders that define the edges of a composition

    As artists, we edit the meaning of the world around us when we decide what to include and what
    to reject when making a new piece of work.

    Our goal will be to understand and apply the principle of the frame as it applies to 2-D art

    "To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer's craft. His central problem is a simple one: what shall he include, what shall he reject? The line of decision between in and out is the picture's edge. While the draughts man starts with the middle of the street, the photographer starts with the frame. The photograph's edge defines content. It isolates unexpected juxtapositions. By surrounding two facts, it creates a relationship. The edge of the photograph dissects familiar fonns, and shows the unfamiliar fragment. It creates the shapes that surround objects. The photographer edits the meanings and patterns of the world through an imaginary frame. This frame is the beginning of this picture's geometry. It is to the photograph as the cushion is to the billiard table."

    --from The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski, former
    director of the photography division of the Museum of Modern Art in New York

    When you look through a window, the scene you see is bordered by a frame (in this case, a window frame). When you shift your vantage point, the scene within the frame changes. Now imagine framing that same scene with the viewfinder of a camera. Like the view through the window, the scene can be "composed" by adjusting the position of your body. Further, by moving the camera, you can choose the orientation of the format to be either horizontal, diagonal, or vertical. You can make objects appear larger or smaller by either moving your body closer or further away from the scene--or zooming the lens of the camera in or out.

    When you create a drawing, the four edges of the paper provide a border that in effect "frames" your work. Whether you are using a representational or non-objective style, the act of
    framing provides you with a method of determining your vantage point, your relationship to the subject, and your initial compositional idea.

    Sometimes what we choose to leave out of the frame can be
    as important as what we choose to include. When we use frames to focus attention on the world around us in particular ways, we are using selective framing. By careful placement, frames can lend legibility, structure, and order to otherwise chaotic visual and conceptual information.

    Allan McCollum
    Up close and ..... Far away.

    Robert Irwin

    How does the Frame of these photographs change
    your perception of Irwin’s piece?


    Zuckerman 2007

    How does the use of frame influence the communication of these images of the same building?



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