Use a Window as a Frame (Day 4 of 31)
The views from your windows are the transitions between your home and the outside world. Whatever you see when you look out—green grass, rooftops, laundry, beach, leaves—those are the boundaries that demarcate and separate your private life from public life. Inside your walls are privacy, autonomy, and (one would hope) safety. Outside that lies the rest of the world, with all its demands and scrutiny.
It’s interesting to document this transitional zone. Doing so captures, and can later remind you about, all those details of the outside world that are most familiar to you. The hours spent idly staring out the window while washing dishes or musing or waiting for a ride to arrive—all these are moments worth photographing. Children play in the yard, learning to ride bikes, or running through sprinklers on hot days. Dogs lie around in the yard, switching from very busy to stupendously lazy in that charming way they have of going between extremes. If you’re a homeowner and have a house, your yard is your property, the little patch of earth that’s yours. (And if you live in an apartment or similar setup, you have that same relationship: the piece of land may not be yours, but the view is.)
Using a window as a frame underlines the idea that this is your view from inside. It hints at so many aspects of your daily life: leaving and coming home again; greeting your family, or sighing with relief while you slip your coat off; locking the door at night and feeling reassured that you’re safe until morning.
Photographically, a frame creates a dynamic composition. (A doorway can be used the same way in composing your photo.) Because the light is different in all seasons and at various times of day, the view that initially seems static is in fact constantly changing. It’s a helpful way to remember to observe what’s going on around you.
So, a window of your home in your photo operates on many levels: as a metaphor, as an important graphic element that can make your picture stronger, and as a reminder to stay alert.
(For the month of October 2017, I’m participating in the 31 Days bloggers’ challenge. You can find out about it here, and check out the interesting work other bloggers are posting.)