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What is shot?In Moviemaking and videoproduction,a shot is a series of frames that runs for anuninterrupted period of time. Film shots are an essential aspect of amovie where angles, transitions and cuts are used to further express emotion,ideas and movement. TYPES OF CAMERA ANGLES/ SHOTS:Cameraangles are a great way to attract viewer interest and hold the audience’sattention in film, TV or animation.

CLOSE UP SHOT Close up shots are used toshow an object in such detail that it blurs the background around the image. Itcan be used in film and media where the actors are close up to the screen whichgives the audience a feeling that they are involved in what is happening. Itcould also add emphasis and importance to the scene, the object or person thatthe close up shot is taken of being the focal point.

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Close up shot shows the Character/figure chest up and in case ofExtreme Close up, we get to see onlythe face of the Character chin up.MEDIUM SHOT Contains a figure from the knees/waist up and is normally usedfor dialogue scenes, or to show some detail of action. Variations on thisinclude the TWO SHOT (containing two figures from the waist up) and the THREESHOT (contains 3 figures) Any more than three figures and the shot tends tobecome a long shot. Background detail is minimal, probably because location hasbeen established earlier in the scene – the audience already know where theyare and now want to focus on dialogue and character interaction. Anothervariation in this category is the OVER-THE-SHOULDER-SHOT, which positions thecamera behind one figure, revealing the other figure, and part of the firstfigure’s back, head and shoulder.LONG SHOT This is the most difficult to categorise precisely, but isgenerally one which shows the image as approximately “life” size i.e.

corresponding to the real distance between the audience and the screen in acinema (the figure of a man would appear as six feet tall). This categoryincludes the FULL SHOT showing the entire human body, with the head near thetop of the frame and the feet near the bottom. While the focus is oncharacters, we can still see a plenty of background details.EXTREME LONG SHOT This can be taken from as much as a quarter of a mile away, andis generally used as a scene-setting, establishingshot. It normally shows an EXTERIOR, e.g. the outside of a building, or alandscape.

There will be very little detail visible in the shot, it is meant togive a general impression rather than specific information.A typical Scene follows the following order of Shots in a givenScene-1.      Beginning with the Extreme Long shot of thelocation, say a wide expanse of a desert; this establishes the Scene.2.      Long Shot and thus we see our Characters inFull figure sitting, standing or moving on the location.3.

      Medium Shot and we see the Characters in moredetail.4.      Close up Shot and come close to the characterwho is speaking.This order of the shots is tentative; it isnot a rule to be followed, but just to give an idea of how the different typesof shots are placed in a given Scene. The Director of the film/Animationdecides on the types of shots he/she wishes to use in a Scene.  HIGH ANGLE SHOT A high-angle shot is acinematic technique where the camera looks down on the subject from a highangle and the point of focus often gets “swallowed up.

” Giving theman appearance of being small and insignificant, It is usually used in media whenthe aim is to show that something is more powerful than the subject and alsomake them seem vulnerable when applied with the correct mood, setting, andeffects.LOW ANGLE SHOT In cinematography, alow-angle shot is a shot from a camera angle positioned low on the verticalaxis, anywhere below the eye line, looking up. Sometimes, it is even directlybelow the subject’s feet. Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot isthat it makes the subject look strong and powerful. OVER THE SHOULDER SHOTIn film or video, an over the shouldershot (OTS, or third-person shot) is a shot of someone or something taken from the perspectiveor camera angle from the shoulder of another person.

The back of theshoulder and head of this person is used to frame the image of whatever (orwhomever) the camera is pointing toward. This type of shot is verycommon when two characters are having a discussion and will usually follow an establishingshot which helps the audience place the characters in their setting. DUTCH TILT SHOT ADutch tilt is a camera shot in which the camera angle is deliberately slantedto one side. This can be used for dramatic effect and helps portray unease,disorientation, frantic or desperate action, intoxication, madness, etc. EYE-LEVEL SHOT An eye-level angle is the one in which the camera is placed atthe subject’s height, so if the actor is looking at the lens, he wouldn’t haveto look up or down. Eye-level shots are incredibly common because they areneutral. They often have no dramatic power whatsoever, thus they are ideal forromantic comedies and news casting.

 AERIAL SHOT An exciting variation of a crane shot, usually taken from a drone.This is often used at the beginning of a film, in order to establish settingand movement. A drone is like a mini helicopter with a Camera attached to it;this offers tremendous flexibility in taking an Arial shot and can convey realdrama and exhilaration — so long as you don’t need to get too close to youractors or use location sound with the shots. BIRD’S EYE VIEW This shows a scene fromdirectly overhead, a very unnatural and strange angle. Familiar objects viewedfrom this angle might seem totally unrecognizable at first (umbrellas in acrowd, dancers’ legs). This shot does, however, put the audience in a godlike position,looking down on the action. People can be made to look insignificant, ant-like,part of a wider scheme of things. UsingPhotography as a tool to understand Frame Compositions:Each second ofAnimation is composed of 24 individual frames (and sometimes 25 or 30 frames).

These individual frames are the still images that are projected at a speed of24 frames/second to give the illusion of movement. Composition of theseindividual frames is crucial in conveying the mood and the impact of the Scene.We can use Photography as a tool to understand how to compose a Shot formaximum impact. So, let’s begin!First of allwe have to define what is meant by ‘composition’. Composition refers to the waythe various elements in a scene are arranged within the frame. There are nohard and fast rules but guidelines. But it is good to understand a fewfundamental rules that have been used in art for hundreds of years and theyreally do help in achieving aesthetically pleasing compositions.

 We’ll startwith the most well-known composition technique: The Rule of Thirds.1.      The Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is very simple. You divide the frame into 9 equalrectangles, 3 across and 3 down as illustrated below. Many camera manufacturershave actually included the capability to display this grid in live view mode.Check your camera’s manual to see how to turn on this feature. Add PicIn this photo, the horizon has been roughly placed along the bottomthird of the frame and the biggest and closest trees along the line to theright.

The photo wouldn’t have the same impact if the larger trees had beenplaced in the centre of the frame.The idea is to place the important element(s) of the scene along one ormore of the lines or where the lines intersect. We have a natural tendency towant to place the main subject in the middle. Placing it off centre using therule of thirds will more often than not lead to a more attractive composition.2.     CentredComposition and SymmetryThere are times when placing a subject in the centre of the frame worksreally well. Symmetrical scenes are perfect for a centred composition. Theylook really well in square frames too.

Add Pic3.     ForegroundInterest and DepthIncluding some foreground interest in a scene is a great wayof adding a sense of depth to the scene. Photographs are 2D by nature.Including foreground interest in the frame is one of a number of techniques togive the scene a more 3D feel.

Add Pic In this photograph of a waterfall, the rocks in the riverprovided a perfect source of foreground interest. Adding foreground interestworks particularly well with wide-angle lenses.4.     Leading LinesLeading lines help lead the viewer through the image andfocus attention on important elements. Anything from paths, walls or patternscan be used as leading lines. Take a look at the examples below. Add Pic In this photo of the Eiffel Tower, the patterns on the pavingstones are used as leading lines.

The lines on the ground all lead the viewerto the Eiffel Tower in the distance. You’ll also notice that a centredcomposition is used for this scene. The symmetry of the surroundings made thistype of composition work well. Add Pic Leading lines do not necessarily have to be straight asillustrated by the picture above. In fact curved lines can be very attractivecompositional features. In this case, the path leads the viewer to the right ofthe frame before swinging in to the left towards the tree. The rule of thirds hasalso been used when composing this shot. 5.

     Fill the Frame               Add PicIn the photo of the lion on the left, you’ll notice that theframe has been completely filled with his face, even cropping out the edges ofhis head and mane. This allows the viewer to really focus on details such asthe eyes or the textures in his fur. You may also notice that the rule ofthirds has been used in this composition. In the second shot of the Cathedral, very little space has beenleft around the edges of the building.

the point of this photograph is toshowcase the architectural detail of the front façade of the building.     6. Leave Negative SpaceIn the last guideline, we learned that fillingthe frame works well as a compositional tool. Now we are going to see thatdoing the exact opposite works well too. Leaving a lot of empty or ‘negative’space around your subject can be very attractive.

It creates a sense ofsimplicity and minimalism. Like filling the frame, it helps the viewer focus onthe main subject without distractions.               Add PicThisphoto of a giant statue of the Hindu god Shiva in Mauritius is a good exampleof using negative space. The statue is obviously the main subject but plenty ofspace has been left, filled only by sky around it. This focuses our attentionon the statue itself while giving the main subject ‘space to breath’ so tospeak. The composition also creates a sense of simplicity. There is nothingcomplicated about the scene.

It is the statue surrounded by sky, that is all. Again,the rule of thirds has been used to place the statue to the right of the frame.7.

Simplicity andMinimalismInthe last guideline, we saw how leaving negative space around the main subjectcan create a sense of simplicity and minimalism. Simplicity itself can be apowerful compositional tool. It is often said that ‘less is more’. Simplicityoften means taking photos with uncomplicated backgrounds that don’t distractfrom the main subject. You can also create a simple composition by zooming inon part of your subject and focusing on a particular detail.

               Add Pic 8. Change your Point of ViewMostphotos are taken from eye level. Getting high up or low down can be a way ofcreating a more interesting and original composition of a familiar subject. Youmust have seen wildlife photographers in particular lying in the mud on theirbellies to get the perfect shot.

               Add Pic 9.Rule of SpaceTherule of space relates to the direction the subject(s) in your photo are facingor moving towards. If you are taking a photo of a moving car for example, thereshould be more space left in the frame in front of the car than behind it. Thisimplies that there is space in the frame for the car to move into. Take a lookat the example of the boat below.

Add Pic Inthis photo, the boat is placed on the left hand side of the frame as it movesfrom left to right. Notice how there is a lot more space for the boat to moveinto in front of its direction of motion (to the right) than behind it. We canmentally imagine the boat moving into this space as it sails along the river. Wealso have a subconscious tenancy to look forward to where an object is heading.If the boat was right up at the right hand side of the frame, this would leadus out of the photograph!10. Balance Elements in the SceneThe firstcompositional guideline we looked at in this tutorial was the ‘rule of thirds’.This of course means that we often place the main subject of the photo to theside of the frame along one of the vertical grid lines.

Sometimes this can leadto a lack of balance in the scene. It can leave a sort of ‘void’ in the rest ofthe frame.To overcomethis, you can compose your shot to include a secondary subject of lesserimportance or size on the other side of the frame. This balances out thecomposition without taking too much focus off the main subject of thephotograph.Take a look at thephotograph below of the ornate lamppost. Add PicThe lamppostitself fills the left side of the frame. The Eiffel Tower in the distancecounter balances this on the other side of the frame..

Add PicThe photo above was taken in Venice. Onceagain, a decorative lamppost dominates one side of the frame. The church towerin the distance provides balance on the other side of the frame.

You may haveremarked that this seems to go against the idea of negative space mentioned inguideline number 6. As we said at the very beginning of this tutorial, thereare no unbreakable rules in photographic composition. Some of these guidelinescontradict each other and that’s ok. Some guidelines work well for certaintypes of photographs and not others. It’s a question of judgement andexperimentation. So go out and experiment with frame compositions! 11. Golden RatioWhatis the golden ratio? Well it’s actually very simple: two quantities are in thegolden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the largerof the two quantities. Sounds too complicated?!Inreality it’s quite simple.

It’s like a slightly more complex version of therule of thirds. Instead of a regular grid, the frame is divided into a seriesof squares as in the examples below. This is known as a ‘Phi Grid’. You canthen use the squares to draw a spiral that looks like a snail’s shell. This iscalled a ‘Fibonacci Spiral’.

The squares help to position elements in the sceneand the spiral gives us an idea of how the scene should flow. It’s a littlelike an invisible leading line.Itis believed that the golden spiral method of composition has been in existencefor over 2,400 years having been devised in Ancient Greece. It is widely usedin many types of art as well as architecture as a way of creating aestheticallypleasing compositions. It was particularly well employed in Renaissance art. Add PicIn this photograph above the bridge and stepson the left occupy the large square to the right. The Fibonacci Spiral thenleads us from here across the top of the bridge and down to the two womensitting next to it.

AddPicThegolden ratio can be set up in different directions. In this photo taken inPrague, the spiral leads us across the bridge to the castle on the far bank.It would beseem very difficult to have all of these compositional guidelines in your mindas you are out shooting. However, a good exercise is to make an effort to useone or two of them each time you go out. You could do a photo session where youlook for situations to use a ‘The Rule of Thirds’ for example.After awhile, you’ll find that a lot of these guidelines become ingrained. You willbegin to use them naturally without having to think about them.

So, go out andexperiment and have a nice time composing your photographs!

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