Posts tagged composition

light and depth

Creating Depth, Part 3: Light, Color and More on Deep Staging

The third part of the Creating Depth series is mostly about light and color, and how they impact depth perception. There is also a section on camera and subject placement and how to maximize available space as a mean to increase image depth. Read More

linear perspective

Creating Depth, Part 2: Perspective

The second part of the Creating Depth series is about perspective. While people usually think linear perspective when they read perspective, I will also put tonal and color perspective here. All these are concerned with perceptual properties changing with distance from the viewer, and they happen to provide major depth cues in an image. This article also explores the relationship between lenses and space representation. Read More

Vermeer The Art of Painting

Creating Depth, Part 1: Introduction, DOF, Deep Staging, Resolution

Depth perception is a basic ability of human vision. It is through depth that we judge distances and spatial relations. But depth is inherently a three-dimensional concept. So capturing the three-dimensional world as a two-dimensional image presents challenges when striving to preserve depth. These challenges are mostly related to the fact that, unlike the real world, two-dimensional images lack stereo cues, and stereo vision is a major component of the mechanics of depth perception. This is one limitation that 3D cinema tries to overcome. This article is about 2D images though, and the ways to exploit stereo unrelated (monocular) cues to suggest depth. Read More

The Photographer's Eye cover

Book Review: The Photographer’s Eye by Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman is a popular author amongst photographers. He has written a myriad of books on photography related topics: lighting, exposure, composition, etc. As the title implies, The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos is concerned with the subject of composition. This is a vast subject. Composition encompasses everything involved in the graphic (or visual) representation of the scene in the image. And everything means everything.

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Aspect ratio stick frame

Aspect Ratio Choice for a Film or Video: Artistic Considerations

If you ask budding cinematographers what are the ways to contribute visually to the story, many will mention lighting and framing. And maybe even lens choice for perspective and dynamics control. It may not be immediately obvious, but so does the choice of a suitable aspect ratio. The aspect ratio commands the geometrical shape of the picture and thus defines the base for in-frame composition. This makes it one of the important choices for any video production, be it a feature, a short, an ad, or a music video. In the age of digital image acquisition and digital intermediate it is much easier to be independent from the capture medium in aspect ratio choice. This is even more true in the context of digital content distribution online. And there are artistic reasons for a specific aspect ratio choice even more than there are technical reasons.

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Pictorial Composition: An Introduction

Book Review: Pictorial Composition (Composition in Art) by Henry Rankin Poore

A painting or a photo captures a moment. The moment may convey a story, or it may just freeze a beautiful scene. But no matter how good the picture is from a technical point of view, it is the composition that binds the components together. So the study of composition is concerned with the arrangement of the picture elements within the frame.

But how important is composition in video, and what does a book about painting composition has to do with video? A video shot is really just a superset of still pictures. Video adds another dimension to still frames: time; but in essence video is just a sequence of frames. So it is important to be familiar with pictorial composition. Camera and/or subject movement or inherent subject interest can sometime mask crappy composition. But this masking is really just that: it won’t really hide bad composition, just delay its discovery. And in order to successfully tackle moving images a firm grasp over still composition is a requirement. Interestingly, paintings are often much more complex in terms of composition compared to cinema shots. This is because, generally, the eye has more time to explore a painting and appreciate the details.

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