Compositional Guidelines

Compositional Guidelines

As we’ve finished up preparing for our New Media Training Courses ( – I thought I would touch base on something we broach during the course, just to give you a taste of what to expect. Here are some basic guidelines for setting up your composition within the frame, whether that be video or still photography.

1. The Rule of Thirds

Imagine your frame is divided into nine equal squares.. The rule of third says you should position your most important elements along these lines or at the points the lines intersect

2. Leading Lines

When we look at an image.. our eyes naturally follow linear elements. By thinking about how the lines reference your subject.. you can effectively pull your viewer through the image with lines. There are different types of leading lines, we delve down into those within the class, and each different type of line means something else within the composition.

3. Viewpoint

Our viewpoint has a major impact on your composition. Before photographing or filming your subject, think about where you want to shoot it from. The angle at which you capture something means a lot within the composition.. whether you’re shooting at a high angle, or from ground level – that perspective matters within your composition.

4. Depth

Because we are working within a two dimensional medium, it’s important to try to create the sense of depth without pulling focus from the intended meaning of the composition. A lot of things control depth within the frame, your camera settings for one, by including objects in the foreground and background and pulling focus between the two, or by overlapping – where you partially obscure one object with another. The human eye will see this, and mentally separate them out.

5. Cropping

By cropping tightly around what you are trying to put focus on within the frame, you eliminate the background distraction, ensuring your viewer is seeing exactly what you want them to.

These are just five of the many techniques within composition. To learn more – you should sign up for one of our training courses! Thanks guys and happy shooting!

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