What do we mean by composition?

Just like anything in this world, we enjoy to see aesthetically pleasing things. Some of that may be built into our OCD, such as lining up your pens in a straight line or making sure your blankets are perfectly folded.

These aesthetics that we enjoy so much, branches directly into the video production world. There’s even a science in the way DP’s (Directors of Photography) light their scenes, using complimentary colors or the opposite for that matter, making a scene look gross in a beautiful way… I swear it makes sense!

Next to the way the scene is lit though is the composition of the scene, and this is insanely important when we think of how we produce videos even on a smaller level.

What is good composition?

When we discuss what makes good composition, there’s a lot of “Rules” and sometimes we can even break those rules depending on our creativity.

However, composition begins at the lowest level of the “Rule of Thirds”

The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds applies across things we see in our everyday life: Television/movies, paintings, photos, designs etc. We’re taking an image or creating an image and imagining our frame has 9 equal parts spaced by two horizontal lines and vertical lines creating a tick-tack-toe design over our image.

This helps us make sure our image is well balanced in each third (Vertically and horizontally) which creates a much more appealing image.

Using Thirds In Video

When filming, we want to always be conscious of where we’re placing our subjects, or ourselves, for that matter. If we’re filming an interview for example, there’s generally two positions on the from we’d want to place our subject.

Framing Left to Right

In the image above, our subject is framed on the left side or better yet the “Left Third.” In an interview scenario, our producer or interviewer would be standing to the right of the camera from this angle so that the subject is looking across the frame to answer questions. Also note the nice lead room and head space in this image.

We’re not cutting him off on the left side nor are we cutting his head off thus creating good “Head Room.” Ideally, we’d have more fall off in the background instead of a wall but hey… we’re just learning some basics here.

Framing Right to Left

Just like above we have nice lead room in our shot but this time we’ve just switched the subject to the reverse side. This means our producer + key light flip sides as well to the left side of the camera and bam! We’re ready to go.

Now that we have a general understanding of these traditional interview framings, what if we were shooting ourselves?

Center On Framing

In this image, our subject is in the center of the frame – but note the equal amount of space on the left side of the image as well as the right.

This frame is perfectly fine!

If you’re self-shooting, ideally you’d use this frame, unless you were leaving room on the left or right side of your frame for graphics to be inserted in post-production.

Now, Practice

You have the tools to go practice this everyday! We all have cell phones, so when you go to take pictures of either a skyline/landscape/group photos or anything at all – practice utilizing these rules!

Capturing a well composed shot is most of the battle when we talk about getting creative with our images.

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