arrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upchevron-upchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upclosecomment-newemail-newgallerygridheadphones-newheart-filledheart-openmap-geolocatormap-pushpinArtboard 1Artboard 1Artboard 1minusng-borderpauseplayplusreplayscreenArtboard 1sharefacebookgithubArtboard 1Artboard 1linkedinlinkedin_inpinterestpinterest_psnapchatsnapchat_2tumblrtwittervimeovinewhatsappspeakerstar-filledstar-openzoom-in-newzoom-out-new

What's in a Frame?

  • 0

Published Jul 20, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 27 Contributors

    27 photos selected by

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Looking up from the base of the monumental double spiral staircases inside the Vatican Museum. Th...

    #architecture #travel #places #vatican #fisheye #spiral #staircases

    Let me start by thanking all of you for submitting more than 20,000 images to this assignment! Editing those and watching how you all see was a real delight. It is a surprising glimpse into your lives and visions.

    This was intentionally a wide-open assignment. I wanted to see how you all would respond to me asking you to shake up your vision and try new things. Respond you did! I’ve seen inventive frames of familiar situations, the ordinary rendered extraordinary by the careful use of camera position. I’ve seen photographers embrace the edges of the frame as a way to create power. I’ve seen people being intentional about what they put in and leave out of a photograph. All this circles back to one fundamental of photography. As photographers we are responsible for every single thing that goes on inside the picture. Maybe an obvious idea but one I repeat to myself every day.

    Wallride at Z-line in Saalbach-Hinterglemm

    #bike #bicycle #downhill #mtb #saalbach #hinterglemm #zline

    Editor's Note

    Look at the way the photographer has used the edge of the frame to add flow and movement to the image. The bike flows out of the right side and the ramp framed out to the edge makes me feel the mov... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    We discover this beautiful place while dancing in the music

    #beauty #mexico #nature #music #colors #portrait #malinalco

    Editor's Note

    What a nice example of what you can leave out. We don't really need to see all of this woman's fa... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    This photograph was taken during a Hindu ritual of Dondi in front of the Kalighat Temple in Kolka...

    #india #people #yellow #travel #portrait #street #baby #documentary #ritual #yourverticalworld

    BC is incredibly warm right now, so it means lots of time must be spent at the lake. I took my Go...

    #lake #selfie

    The salt pan workers work under extremely hazardous conditions; usually they will work at hot sun...

    #india #worker #pod #dailylife #saltpan #marakkanam #hardlife #endpoverty #whatsinaframe

    Editor's Note

    Great low shot. I'm sure this was an interesting situation from standing eye level but by going low the photographer is able to shoot through one of the salt pan worker's legs. Look at how the smal... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Jaishalmer, Sam sand dunes, Rajasthan, India.

    #jaishelmer #yourshotadventure

    Editor's Note

    I love the use of the camel's legs to frame the other camel and rider. Nicely done! I also love the detail of the figure on the far left side of the image. Pay attention to the sides of images. Thi... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    While I was walking along the Ngapali beach, Rakhine, Western Myanmar, toward the fishermen villa...

    #myanmar #action_shot #ngapali_beach

    Was a small waves day in Recreio Beach- Rio de janeiro so i let my surfboard in the sand and ente...

    #beach #sea #surf #ocean #surfers #style #rio_de_janeiro #recreio #robson_pierre

    a group of men doing warm-up for kusti in kolkata

    #people #street #indian #kolkata #kusti

    Editor's Note

    Okay, this picture is totally about the wrestler in the middle of the photo, but it wouldn't be nearly as interesting a frame without the added complexity of the figures around the edges. Great us... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Marine wildlife inside the aquarium in an urban setting provides ever enduring and dynamic visual...

    #people #animals #underwater #travel #adventure #photography #blackandwhite #natgeo #epic #ngmh2o

    Editor's Note

    Wow, what a mind-bending photograph! You have the confusion of the people and the diver's feet, the fish and the view of outside. Hard to know what way is up. This image is all about the edges. Not... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    When the worker was checking the material I took this photo. Colour and shape of the material att...

    #photo #man #photography #colour #worker #frame

    This photo captures the soul of my hometown Sibiu, in Romania. My hometown is a piece of me and e...

    #abstract #eyes #city #home #travel #place #trip #romania #sibiu

    the girl was walking on the street but i took the photo in a way that looks like the girl its wal...

    #people #walking #bench #street #cuba #cuban #streetphotography #walking_away

    Whilst visiting a local market in Lviv, Ukraine, this man walked right into the frame. He was loo...

    #ukraine #lviv

    Editor's Note

    This photographer has taken "framing" to heart. Love the use of the two picture frames. They really lead my eye.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    During a wedding ceremony of my friend I was lucky to see the reflection of parents of the bride.

    #people #composition #portrait #love #parents #weding #natgeoinspires

    Editor's Note

    Another extremely complex frame that uses the edges well. The faces on the left, the face mirrore... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Reflection on and behind the glass. Street portrait, color, Rotterdam, Holland

    #candid #street #rotterdam #streetphotography #streetportrait #natgeoinspires #amspk #pkef #pubpk

    Editor's Note

    Look at how the photographer has composed this picture. They have balanced the primary red on the right hand side of the pictures with the geometric reflections on the left. Love his expression in ... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Every year in Canosa di Puglia, on Holy Saturday, the rite of the Desolate, an ancient and very p...

    #woman #puglia #canosa #desolata

    Editor's Note

    I love it. I feel like you've paused time. The composition is perfect — smart decision to shoot a little higher than eye-level, creating space around the maestro and separating him from the choir o... More

    David Y. Lee
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    My friends dog splashes into water to quench his thirst on top of Echo Lakes.

    Editor's Note

    Great choice of where to shoot! The worm's eye view of a dog drinking is so much more interesting... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    I photographed Hawaiian cowboy, Jamie Dowsett, with his horses in Waimea, Hawaii while working on...

    #people #animals #culture #hawaii #horses #cowboys #paniolos #hawaiian_cowboys

    Editor's Note

    Like I often say, if you take care of your edges the centers will take care of themselves. Curious horse, low angle and great light all come together to make a great photograph.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    farmer thailand

    #sky #thai #rice #farmer #move

    Life is full of adventure, I was walking at the park in Tokyo when I notice this Autumn tree and ...

    #nature #people #travel #autumn #japan #place #adventure #colour #tokyo #autumn2014

    Surrounding cliffs of Lake Powell . The wind and water has shaped the land and formed some intere...

    #utah #erosion #unexpected_discoveries #whats_in_a_frame #gobeyondassignment

    Indeed , Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre Abu Dhabi is the one of best places I visited so far.Th...

    #reflection #mosque #architecture #grand #travel #places #symmetry #abudhabi #grandmosque

    Editor's Note

    This is a a beautiful photograph of one of the most lovely modern buildings on the planet. The symmetry of the place is evident in the frame and the detail that makes the picture for me is the man ... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Every moment is unique and fleeting, and many pass in less than a second. Moments like this, when...

    #sunset #rain #reflection #people #puddle #mirror #evening #silhouette #fence #harbour #couples

    Editor's Note

    The low angle gives us the perfect mirror for the sky. The framing is nice with people on either ... More

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    Here in this photograph every age in including to form a shape here the running girl motion blur...

    #travel #street #formation #motion #old_age

    Editor's Note

    Street scenes can be so hard to shoot. There is a lot going on and this image has a nice balance of movement and stillness.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    In a meeting of motorcycles was programd a balloon ride I asked if I could shoot while inflating,...

    #hot #air #ballon

    Editor's Note

    I am a sucker for a small person in a big space. Choosing to shoot into the balloon, the off-center figure—all add to the beauty of this image.

    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer

    A little about the process of getting this down to 27 frames. When I edit, either my own work or someone else’s, my first pass through the pictures is purely emotional and binary. Yes or no. Does this image connect on an emotional level? I don’t equivocate: The yeses stay in and the nos go out. I don’t think about what anyone else would like, just what connects. From the yes pile—and for this assignment there were a ton of yes photos—I start to look more closely. Did the photographer do what I asked? Did they frame in a new way? Did they use their edges well? Did they intentionally put things in or leave them out? Were they pushing their vision?

    When it comes right down to it, isn’t pushing our vision the point of all this?

    About the Editor
    Stephen Alvarez
    National Geographic Photographer
    Photographer and filmmaker Stephen Alvarez produces stories of global exploration, adventure, and culture. Since 1995, Alvarez has worked with National Geographic magazine to create a number of stories that call on his caving expertise and lighting capabilities, including the discovery of an Incan mummy in Peru, the exploration of the ...

    Photographers Published In the Story