Production: 3 Composition Tips for 4:3

When shooting a video production, the most important thing that happens is what's captured by the camera, and a huge part of this is your image's composition. How you compose your shots will determine the visual beauty of the work, and it also plays a huge role in directing the viewer's attention throughout the story. Composition is mainly determined by individual tastes just like all art, but there are some general rules that you can follow to help create great images. Here are 3 tips to help you compose shots for a 4:3 frame ratio.

1. Rule of Thirds

This is the most basic and important rule to remember when composing your 4:3 frame. It's based on the principal that the human eye is naturally drawn to a point about two-thirds up on a page. To frame for this, break your frame into a grid of nine squares. Try to frame it so that the subject is placed at one of the intersection points on the grid rather than being in the center of the image.

When framing out a shot that is a landscape, try to have the sky begin at either the top third of the frame or the bottom third. If the area of interest is land, then place the sky at the top third. If the area is sky, then place it at the bottom third. If you follow the rule of thirds, you will have images that are very pleasing to the eyes.

2. The Golden Section Rule

This rule follows the principal that our eyes are naturally drawn to pleasing objects or points in an image. The golden section rule is based on this concept. A frame is divided into nine unequal parts so that a center box is formed by their intersection points. This box has the same dimensions as the whole image. At the intersection points, we then place our subjects of interest. The box is the golden section and the points are the golden points.

3. The Diagonal Rule

This is a fairly simple concept to understand. Basically, we try to set our frame so that straight lines will appear diagonally and cut the frame in half. We try to compose our frames with this rule because it is more visually interesting than a horizontal line.

These 3 rules are just guidelines to help you create a dynamic frame. Framing is an art, and it is important to any video production because what matters the most is what the audience will see.

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