5 Composition Ideas You Should Try in Your Next Shoot

Cinematography and photography have some areas of crossover, and one such area is composition. Here are five ideas for how to angle your next shoot that might make all the difference

One of my favorite YouTube channels to ever exist was Every Frame a Painting. This channel by Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou produced series of video essays on areas of cinematography. The rough premise of the channel was focusing on those examples in cinema where everything was simply exquisite and you could pull any frame and it would look like a work of art even in isolation. My obsession with this channel predated my own entry into cinematography, but it did aid in the improvement of the composition in my photography.

In this video, you are offered five compositional ideas for your next shoot, and while they are primarily aimed at videography, they work in photography too. My particular favorite — and a compositional technique I'm working on improving at — is frames within frames. That is, you frame your subject within a sub-frame in the shot. That could be a doorway or simply a gap somewhere in the scene. Some of my favorite shots in cinematography use this technique, and often also in conjunction with heavy contrast. Doorways are great for this as you can light the room your subject is in differently to the room or hallway you're in outside of it. This is a superb way of drawing the eye to where you want it to be, and that is right at the heart of composition.

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John Cliff's picture

"In this video..." which video? no link given except to the channel for Every Frame a Painting...header image is a still

Robert K Baggs's picture

Sorry about that, there was an error with the YouTube link. Fixed it.