Understanding Framing

Garry Winogrand was one of the great American street photographers. Roaming the city streets with his small Leica camera always at the ready, he captured telling fragments of the life around him. Composed in a split second, Winogrand’s photographs used the picture frame to isolate slices of daily reality. Within the rectangular picture frame, he balanced geometric shapes and drew dynamic lines toward significant points in the picture that piqued the viewer’s curiosity and imagination. In this Discussion, you analyze the framing elements of a Winogrand photograph.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Read Chapter 1 in your course text, Photographer’s Eye
  • Review the Garry Winogrand photograph, Untitled, 1950s.
  • Review photographs from all the websites listed in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider the type of frame used by Winogrand and how the framing draws the viewer into the picture and sets the stage for the telling of a story.
  • Consider the orientation of the Winogrand photograph, Untitled, 1950s:
    • What considerations might Winogrand have taken when filling the frame?
    • How did Winogrand divide the frame?
    • Where is the subject of the photograph in relation to the space surrounding that subject?

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a response that describes at least three elements of framing used by Winogrand in his photograph, Untitled, 1950s. Evaluate the decisions Winogrand made about what to include in the frame and what to exclude from it. Analyze how those decisions impact Winogrand’s meaning. Evaluate the extent to which Winogrand’s photograph may be described as loosely framed. Describe how Winogrand uses the edges of the frame. (Approximately 500 words).



Freeman, M. (2013). The photographer’s eye: Graphic guide: Instantly understand composition & design for better digital photos. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.

  • Chapter 1, “Framing” (pp. 8–29)

    This chapter of the course text sets up one of the more fundamental elements of photography by explaining how framing is more than simple composition. The author explains that sometimes what is left out of a photograph can be just as important as what is included.

The following blogs from Damon Guy explain how to make note of elements in photography that offer constructive assessments.

Guy, D. (2012, 27 July). Doing a photo critique—part 1: Respect and sensitivity [Blog]. Retrieved from http://www.photokonnexion.com/doing-a-photo-critique-part-1/

Guy, D. (2012, 29 July). Doing a photo critique—part 2: The method [Blog]. Retrieved from http://www.photokonnexion.com/doing-a-photo-critique-part-2-the-method/

The following websites comprise galleries that allow you to experience the fundamental elements of photographic art.

Perivolaris, J. (2014). Garry Winogrand. Retrieved from http://pear.ly/57IT

Perivolaris, J. (n.d.-a). ARTS 2001Fundamentals of photographic arts. Retrieved from https://pathbrite.com/portfolio/PvSKUPp5J/arts-2001-fundamentals-of-photographic-arts-week-1

Photography Now. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://photography-now.net

William Eggleston. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.egglestontrust.com/

Winogrand, G. (n.d.). Untitled, 1950s. Retrieved from http://www.masters-of-photography.com/W/winogrand/winogrand_untitled_1950s_full.html

The following websites include transcripts of interviews with the individual photographers regarding their approaches used in their works.

Meyer, P. (2001). Some background thoughts. I photograph to remember. Retrieved from http://www.pedromeyer.com/galleries/i-photograph/work.html

Diamonstein, B. (n.d.). An interview with Garry Winogrand. Retrieved from http://www.photoquotes.com/showinterviews.aspx?id=22&name=Winogrand,Garry&InterviewID=14

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