Videography, much like photography relies heavily on composition in order to create a visually dynamic image. However, unlike with photography where the image is still, the composition of a video shot should lead the viewer’s eye to subject frame by frame.
In order to that, image a series of white lines crossing the frame, like two tracks leading to a distant vanishing point. In the middle of this vanishing point, should be your subject, perfectly framed. The rule of thirds need not apply here, because, with videography, something or someone can always enter the frame in one of the thirds.
Now that you have established your white lines, try and find objects in the shot that run along said line – this will naturally lead the eye of the viewer to your intended subject. These white lines can be adjusted by experienced videographers and can run straight into the centre of the shot, or they can lead the eye to a corner of the frame, and they can even run parallel across the screen – just make sure it runs right to left.
This is a very useful technique when capturing fast motion. A very funny but obvious example would be filming an athletic event. Here runners are actually already framed by white lines for the camera to follow, and as the videographer, you have a perfect guide to lead your camera and your eye along the track. Although this is a little too on the nose, it can really help new videographers identify how those imaginary white lines can frame a subject in a video.
Of course, rules are meant to be broken and sometimes shooting outside these white lines can deliver incredibly interesting videography work. Use them as a rough guide, but always film what you find beautiful above all else.
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