Camera Composition and Framing

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  • As with all mediums concerning visual art, composition is crucial to the success of a video work. With video, however, composition can be a bit more complex because we are capturing time, movement in progress. The camera is a myopic lens, it’s field of vision is limited and it has no peripheral vision. Think about effective ways (bullet point 1)
  • The guideline of the Rule of Thirds proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.
  • For moving images, the action of zooming in to fill the frame with the subject requires the simultaneous tilting up of the camera, shown by the red lines, to maintain the correct amount of headroom. Conversely, zooming out requires tilting down.
  • Three point lighting can be used for shots with movement as well but lighting becomes more complex with movement. It is important to create a setup which will light your scene in such a way that the key elements will be lit the way you want them to be no matter how the element or camera moves. Read paper:
  • Camera Composition and Framing

    1. 1. In Camera Composition & Framing• Think about effective ways to capture what lies beyond the camera’sview. This includes panning, tilting, tracking, and zooming.• Remember to be sensitive to in-camera composition since re-framing a shot in FCP is very difficult because the image quality,along with the proceeding and following shots will be compromised.• Superb editing skills in FCP cannot save bad footage. • TAKE TIME PLANNING SHOTS • Looking through the lens to make adjustments to framing and what lies within the frame can make all the difference between a well composed and poorly composed shot.
    2. 2. Types of Shots in Relation to FRAMING
    3. 3. Long Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. From Maya Deren’s At Land
    4. 4. Full shot QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.From Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life
    5. 5. Medium Full Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.From Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera
    6. 6. Medium Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.From Mathew Barney’s Creamaster 4
    7. 7. Medium Close Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. From Mathew Barney’s Creamaster 3
    8. 8. Close Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. From Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon
    9. 9. Close Up QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. From Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon
    10. 10. Medium Close Up QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. From Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon
    11. 11. Extreme Close Up QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.From Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera
    12. 12. Types of Shots in Relation to SHOOTING
    13. 13. Establishing Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.From Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon
    14. 14. Master Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.From Miranda July’s You me and Everyone we Know
    15. 15. Reaction Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.From Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho
    16. 16. Reverse Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.From Miranda July’s You me and Everyone we Know
    17. 17. Two Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.From Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon
    18. 18. Three Shot QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. From Maya Deren’s At Land
    19. 19. Tracking Shot
    20. 20. When you plan your storyboards and shooting scripts be sure toreference the types of framing and shooting shots you plan to use.
    21. 21. Shooting Tips• USE A VARIETY OF SHOTS TO CREATEDYNAMIC PACING.• Tripods are awesome. Handheld camera work should beavoided if possible, unless you are deliberately looking forthe “handheld look”.• REMEMBER FORM AND CONTENT IMPACT ONEANOTHER.• It’s better to zoom in and out when you are composing ashot, before recording begins. If you do need to zoomwhile you are recoding, BE SURE TO USE THEREMOTE to avoid camera shake.• If a subject moves in and out of the frame or if you are inlow light levels, you may want to switch off auto focus andfocus manually.
    22. 22. RULES OF COMPOSTION
    23. 23. The Rule of ThirdsWithout the use of the Rule of Thirds With the use of the Rule of Thirds
    24. 24. The Rule of Thirds:• discourages central placement of the subject,thus creating a more dynamic image.• prevents a horizon line dividing an image inhalf.• when filming, align the figure with one of thevertical lines with figure’s eyes aligned with ahorizontal line. When the subject moves, themajority of the extra room should be in front ofthe person.
    25. 25. 180 Degree Rule or The Axis of ActionDeals with the orientation of twosubjects within a frame andcreates consistency betweenshots.An imaginary line connects thesubjects, this line is called theaxis. When you keep the cameraon side of the axis throughout ascene, the characters will beconsistently positioned on theright and left. Thus helping theviewer understand the spatialrelations within a scene.http://www.viddler.com/v/8a6af804
    26. 26. • ESSENTIAL AREA - important information should beframed within the center 80% of the frame, also known as thetitle safe portion of the frame. Everything within the light grey rectangle is the essential area.
    27. 27. • LOOK SPACE - space within the frame in the direction the subject is looking.If your subject is looking in onedirection, it is best to placethem on the opposite side ofthe frame. By doing this, youare giving the subject space tolook into. This will also drawthe viewer into the image. • WALK SPACE - space within the frame in the direction the subject is walking.
    28. 28. • HEADROOM - the space between the top of a subject and the edge of the fame. The eyelevel of the subject should be no less than one third from the top of the frame unless the subject of the frame is the mouth or nose (or an extreme close up) QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. Too much headroom, a common mistake. QuickTime™ and a decompressor Not enough headroom, another common mistake.are needed to see this picture. Good composition, the subjects eyes are one-third of the distance down from the top of the frame, following the Rule of Thirds.
    29. 29. High Angle ShotOr Bird’s Eye View
    30. 30. Low Angle Shot
    31. 31. Forced Perspective QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
    32. 32. Remember perspective can change themood within a scene. Much of Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining was filmed from the QuickTime™ and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. perspective of a child’s height, or used low angle shots. This shift in perspective is naturally unsettling to viewer.
    33. 33. LIGHTING
    34. 34. Lighting can also change moodwithin a scene. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.Kenneth Anger’s FireworksThe harsh lighting makes the figures seem even moreforeboding.
    35. 35. Shooting outdoors: -You will be at the mercy of natural light, which alone can be quite amazing! - Remember to shoot all shots within a scene in a short period of time so that the natural lighting does not shift too much. - If you are shooting at night, you may need to employ artificial lighting. Night mode is graining low quality footage.
    36. 36. For shots with little or no movementwithin the frame: You should begin with a traditional three point lighting setup. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.
    37. 37. QuickTime™ a decompresso are needed to see this pi White Balance QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressorded to see this picture.
    38. 38. Timecode: QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.

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