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Video Camera Techniques, 2nd Edition by Gerald Millerson

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Composing in Depth

Although the TV screen can only show us a flat image of the three-dimensional world, the audience gets a very convincing impression of depth and distance, thanks to the various visual clues they can see. They subconsciously interpret space by comparing relative sizes, converging lines (linear perspective), seeing how one plane overlaps another (masking) and how the relative positions of subjects change as the camera moves (parallactic movement).

A picture with a strong impression of depth, holds the interest, and is usually more convincing and attractive, than one which is flat and even-toned. If there are few visual clues to depth in a picture, it can be hard to judge scale, space and distances (e.g. as in open desert landscapes). ...

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