Composition and the frame

Composition can be controlled by the position of the lens and a variety of visual design techniques, but there is another ‘invisible’ force acting upon the design of a film or television image and how it is perceived. The enclosing frame of a picture exerts three powerful influences on a composition.

Firstly, the shape of the viewing screen, its aspect ratio (the proportion of its width to its height) has a significant influence on how a picture is to be composed. This is dealt with in the next chapter. Secondly, the spatial relationship between the main subject and the edge of the picture is critical. Lastly, how the frame contains the image, how it in effect limits and concentrates the observer's attention ...

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