Our 7 Favorite Photos of Windows & Doorways: Picture This

The Sanctum of the Leviathans
“Night has fallen over Durango, Colorado, where we see through the doors of the roundhouse the sleeping leviathans of the town, the railroad’s steam locomotives,” William Diehl writes. “Resting here for their nightly maintenance, in the morning they will pull the famed Silverton Train to its namesake destination.” Diehl shot it with a Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 18-105mm lens. It’s a 1.4-second exposure at f/13, ISO 200. © William Diehl

One of the most important things in photography is composition, and windows and doorways can be great framing devices for your images. Much like a picture frame, a window or a doorway can be used to draw the viewer’s eye to a subject. We’ve seen them used for portraiture or landscape photography to great effect but, for this assignment, you were free to use them however you liked.

The best part of windows and doorways is that they’re everywhere. The trick is finding ones that offer great light to showcase your subject. For portraits, we asked that you experiment with placing the person you’re photographing at different angles in the frame. For street photography, we suggested finding the doorway or window you liked first and then waiting for the magic to happen: it could be an interesting street character walking by or it could be an animal, such as a cat or a dog, popping up out of nowhere to be the unexpected star of your framed image.

With our seven favorite images for this assignment—which was one of our most popular assignments ever—the winning photographers really took our advice to heart!

“I actually drove past this guy on my way home one day and needed to turn back to capture this image,” Kristie Kistner explains. “Shot from my car window, I couldn’t resist how perfectly lined up this handsome horse was.” Kistner captured the image with a Nikon D610 at f/5.6, 1/40 second, ISO 400. © Kristie Kistner
Waiting for the Bell
“While on an amazing photography trip through Rajasthan, India, we visited this school in Kishangarh,” Rob Santeramo says. “Meeting these warm and friendly children was an incredible experience.” He captured the image with a Nikon D810 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 55mm, f/6, 1/125 second, ISO 200. © Rob Santeramo
Silent Appreciation
“Taking time to observe lovely works of sculpture in a beautiful framed setting at the Milwaukee Art Museum located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a lone figure reflects in silent appreciation,” Linn Smith writes about this image. Smith captured it with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a Canon EF 24-70mm lens at f/9, 1/30 second, ISO 160. © Linn Smith
A Patch of Blue
“I visited an artists-in-residence program in New Jersey. After viewing a variety of work and talking to the artists, just before leaving I noticed a broken window over a door,” Kenneth Laurence Neal notes. “The scene looked like a work of art itself and I was able to capture it shortly before the sun set.” He shot it with a Nikon D5200 at 52mm, f/6.3, 1/125 second. © Kenneth Laurence Neal
Window Friends
David Hurwitt captured this Paris window scene with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon 28-300mm lens at f/5.6, 1/250 second, ISO 400. © David Hurwitt
“This was shot looking straight up between the walls of a narrow exit hallway of the Prescott Valley Library in Prescott Valley, Arizona, with the glass window in between reflecting each side,” Bob Larson says. He used a Canon EOS Rebel T2i and a Sigma 10-20mm lens. © Bob Larson