20 Photos of Creative Frames Within Frames

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Using a frame within a frame is one of the easiest ways to spice up a dull photo. And with Photoshop, it's also a way to create something totally mind-bending. These 20 Shooting Challenge entries celebrate both schools of thought.

WINNER: Hole In the Wall

This picture involves 4 components that I've taken with my Nikon D40: A section of the Sutro Baths, a picture of a painting, a picture of waterfalls at the Yerba Buena Arts Center, and a close-up of my hands. All of these components were photoshopped together to create a frame within a frame within a frame.
- Stacy


Inside the Speakeasy

I just got a Cannon T3i and am loving learning how to use it! On Saturday, I used the standard 18-55mm lens with the ISO set to 800. My boyfriend and I went to explore Baker Field. (I am from a town called Bakersfield in California) We thought it would be comical to bring my parents there when they come to visit. On our way back home we stopped at 190th station on the 1 and A line and walked the crossover tunnel that spits you out onto Broadway. The door you are looking at is to the entrance of that tunnel that takes you to the station. That particular door did not have a window in it, so it was really neat to see through. It is actually a combination of two photos. The door itself, and then what was taken inside the window being the other. (I took the second a bit closer so the lighting would show through. Anyway! I thought it looked pretty neat and thought I would share!
- Sarah Blevins


I chose to shoot my muse and use circles for the frames. I used a HulaHoop for my 'frame". Shot in my backyard in various outfits. I planned out this shoot by first drawing, then designing in Illustrator. Final editing was done in PS5. It came as I had hoped - so I am pleased :) Canon50D, Canon 50mm f1.8 II lens - ISO 100.
- Jen Tyler


Guard's View

Taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T3, 18 - 55 mm lens, ISO 100, f/5, 1/60. On a trip to Philly with a group of my students we visited the Eastern State Penitentiary, the oldest in the US. This is a view of cell block 1 from where the guards would stand. The penitentiary was built in a radial design, so the guards could stand in one spot and see each of the 7 original cell blocks.
- Brian


Star Frame

First thing when I saw this competition: I wanted to get away from square frames. Living in Hollywood, a Star on the Walk of Fame seemed a natural fit. Then I thought it a good play on tourism in general. I blended right in with my surroundings, everyone thought I was just a tourist who wanted a snap of MJ. I picked Michael Jackson because, duh, it's Michael Jackson - The King of Pop - and this is Pop Art :). Shot the image today, 5/12/2012 on a Canon 5DMKII, 24-105mm lens at 24mm, RAW, ISO 320, 1/2000, F4. I cropped and flattened the perspective in PS CS6 using the lens distortion and perspective crop tools, then did heavy Photoshop work, painting and the like, to eliminate a lot of glare issues and add depth, lighting, shadowing to the concentric stars. I noticed the stars needed some kind of depth, like an inch of inset, to really read. I added a slight high pass filter overlay, honestly kept the tone and hue pretty flat, didn't do much color work, I kind of liked the milky lifted blacks on this one.
- Stephan



Shrugging off Photoshop, I stuck with old school photography and nothing else. Set up camera on a tripod, lock it down well, lock down camera settings on manual to keep light and color consistent, and the rest is a simple loop : —> Shoot Pic —> Transfer to PC —> Set as desktop image —> Repeat —> To avoid moving the target pc I administrated it from another computer on my network using VNC - not really necessary but I had the resources so why not. Canon PowerShot SX20 IS, 1/40 sec. ,f/3.2, ISO-200. Cheap tripod.
- BazookaJoe2.0


San Telmo

I'm currently studying Cinema Direction in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I know of a gallery in the neighborhood of San Telmo, where I went to take some pictures last year and I loved the place, so I went down once again and got this shot. I used an Olympus OM 101 with a 35–70mm/F3.5–4.5 PF, 400ISO Kodak film.
f4, 1/500.
- Gali


I really dig that the winner is this strange amalgamation of gritty analog photography and obvious Photoshop compositing, but there were so many clever frames within frames that you spotted I'd never even considered—like a star on the Walk of Fame. Thanks to everyone for their entries. The full gallery is below. The wallpapers are on flickr.