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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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The Depth of Film Space—Foreground/Middle Ground/Background

The diagonal lines framed within a shot help draw a viewer’s eye from objects close to the camera to objects further away from the camera, or deeper into the film’s space. This space is divided into three sections based on the proximity to the camera’s taking lens: foreground (FG), middle ground (MG), and background (BG). Together with the borders of the frame they help form the film’s three-dimensional space: height, width, and depth.

Foreground

As the name implies, the FG is the zone between the camera’s lens and the main subject being photographed. It is the space before the area of interest. Nothing has to occupy this space and often it is simply filled with empty air. A creative ...

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