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Grammar of the Shot, 3rd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen

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Chapter Three

Composition – Beyond the Basics

  • The Illusion of 3D
  • The Lines: Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal, Curved
  • The Depth Factor: Foreground, Middle Ground, Background
  • Depth Cues: Overlapping, Object Size, Atmospherics
  • Lens Talk: Focal Length, Primes, Zooms
  • Lens Talk: Focus

Up until now we have kept most of our compositions relatively basic – one or two subjects in a simple environment. By this point you should feel comfortable with your camera’s aspect ratio, the families of shot types, the rule of thirds, headroom, look room, and camera angles on action. Chapter Three builds on these basic components of cinematic language and introduces new and compelling ways to compose your shots – increasing their visual information, meaning, and beauty. ...

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