Video Camera Course - Week 5
The "rule of thirds".
Composition refers to the layout of everything within the frame:
what your subject is, where it is in the frame,
which way it's facing/looking, the background, the foreground, lighting,
"Headroom", "looking room", and "leading room".
- This rule divides the frame into thirds.
Points (or lines) of interest should occur at 1/3 or 2/3 of the way up
(or across) the frame, rather than in the centre.
In a landscape shot, land takes up approximately 1/3 of the frame,
and the sky takes up the rest(or reversed).
In most "people shots", the main line of interest is the imaginary line going
through the subject's eyes.
The eyes may be placed approximately 1/3 of the way down the frame.
- Avoid putting the center of interest in the center of the frame. The image appears
too symmetrical and is unappealing to the eye.
Unbalanced(asymmetrical) composition creates a sense of visual motion, excitement,
- These terms refer to the amount of room in the frame which is strategically left
You should leave some extra space in front of a person's face.
This space is "talking room." If the person is talking to another person,
space left for "talking room" makes it feel natural.
Walking room - if the person in motion, gives them space to walk to.
Headroom is the amount of space between the top of the subject's head and the
top of the frame.
A common mistake is to have far too much headroom,
which doesn't look good and wastes frame space.
In any "person shot" tighter than a MS, there should be very little headroom.
Avoid having half objects in frame,
especially people (showing half of someone's face is very unflattering).
Also try not to cut people of at the joints -
the bottom of the frame can cut across a person's stomach, but not their knees.
It just doesn't look right.
|LS (Long Shot)
The point of this shot is to show the subject's surroundings.
The EWS is often used as an "establishing shot" -
the first shot of a new scene, designed to show the audience where the action
is taking place.
|WS (Wide Shot)
In the WS, the subject takes up the full frame.
The feet will be almost at the bottom of frame,
and the head almost at the top. The small amount of room above and below
the subject can be thought of as safety room -
you don't want to be cutting the top of the head off.
|MS (Mid Shot)
The MS shows some part of the subject in more detail, whilst still
showing enough for the audience to feel as if they were looking at the
whole subject. In fact, this is an approximation of how you would see a person
"in the flesh" if you were having a casual conversation.
You wouldn't be paying any attention to their lower body,
so that part of the picture is unnecessary.
|MCU (Medium Close Up)
Half way between a MS and a CU. This shot shows the face more clearly,
without getting uncomfortably close.
|CU (Close Up)
In the CU, a certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.
A close up of a person usually means a close up of their face.
|BCU (Big Close Up)
The BCU gets right in and shows extreme detail.