This past weekend I was responsible for photographing a Texas Best competition. My husband, as a member of TASBT, was asked to judge the competition . While this didn’t fit into any of my predefined New Years Challenges, I did manage to find a few set-ups that work for Challenge #3 which was framing.

To me, framing is a very important element of photography. The use of it, or even the absence of it, can really affect the way a person views a photograph. My favorite technique is to use hanging tree limbs, or a gap in the shrubs, or  even tall grass to soften and darken the edges of an image. The darker colors provide a nice contrast to the lighter subject matter. It also gives the image a slightly surreal feeling like you are are spying on your subject. My favorite images have always been candid images where the subject appear unaware the are being photographed.

As I was photographing the competition I made sure to stay out of the way. It was a timed competition so I could not arrange my subjects or interfere in any way. The competition involved finding mechanical issues with 6 different busses. The competitors took turns inspecting each bus. I was able to shoot the same set-ups over and over, tweaking the vantage points and light sources. It turned out to be a real challenge with the fast pace, the large bay doors open to the morning sun, darkened interiors, and flashing lights.

I am really pleased with the results. The framing in the following photos came out even better than I had anticipated. It’s photos like these that make me wish I had more graphic design experience so that I could combine the images with text like you would expect to see in a magazine. I could see these being used to illustrate a training manual.

You can see more images from the competition here: