The Mobile Storyteller: Part 3: composition and what to focus on!

How one frames an image is key! So let’s chat about how to frame a picture, an image.

Composition is how things are organized. Officially:

composition (plural compositions)

The proportion of different parts to make a whole. [from 14th c.]

The general makeup of something. [from 14th c.]

Let me make this simple. What do you want to focus on? Agree on what you need to capture and what you don’t need to capture. There are 3 types of shots you’re going to capture: the wide shot, the medium shot, and the close up shot. These are your base shots for everything. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s key to use this framework (no pun intended) for your shots. Wide determines location shots. Medium shots communicate the action that’s happening. The close up communicates emotion and detail.

Try to be as clear as possible when composing your photography or your video. The rules are the same. If you want to capture location, shoot a variety of wide shots. Make sure you’re clear with that shot. It should communicate WHERE clearly. Medium shots should focus on the action. For schools, think about the verbs. Capture those using a variety of medium shots. Detail and emotions needs to be communicated using close ups. Zero in on exactly what you want people to see!


The rule of thirds!
One of the oldest “rules” in photography, film, and even paintings is the rule of thirds. This is an way photographers use to frame an image. It helps organize the captured image to control or influence what people are looking at. It helps create a balance to see things.

Imagine a tic tac toe grid over your viewfinder. The four intersections are called focus points. They are like magnets for your eyes. You want to do your best to move what you want people to focus on to one of those points. Or, the two natural horizon lines. See examples below.

[example 1 w m cu. rule of thirds]
[example 2. Horizon line options ]

Practice shooting with the gridlines on. Most cameras have this feature available in the settings. Find it. Open it. Try to use these focus points to help you reframe your image.

[example 3. Show iPad grid and examples of good and bad]

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