Compose Your Shots
in this lesson, we're going to be learning about how to compose better shots. The first thing you need to understand about composition is aspect ratio basically how big or the size of your video frame today. The most popular aspect ratio is 16 by nine. This is the standard aspect 16 is the width, nine is the height, this is what you're going to be shooting on with your DSLR cameras, your smartphones. This is how most TVs are built today. While back most TVs were made a little bit more squished and that was a four by three aspect ratios. Not many people are shooting or creating videos in four x three anymore. And if you go to the theater you will see even wider aspect ratios. And this is something that you can even do in post production to make your videos seem more cinematic now that you know what frame you're using, you're ready to compose a shot. And this is really how you frame the shot specifically. We're gonna talk about several ways to frame your shop for coverage and that's real...
ly a wide a medium, a close up an extreme close up and inserts. Now keep in mind these are the most common ways of shooting but there are infinite ways of composing your shot. So if we're shooting a narrative or really a documentary, we have to have a story right? So fill over here is getting ready to plan his hiking trip and we're going to shoot it first as just a normal narrative or this would also act really well as b roll for your coverage and a dock. So we're gonna start with a wide shot. So you can see here I have Phil framed up in a wide shot, he's sitting here, you can see the entire scene and really you can kind of use this whole frame for your wide covered shot. It's something that you can always cut back to when you get in trouble or if you need to really show the entire area and the world and set the scene. So this is a very basic wide shot. If I were to frame up a little bit more negative space, I might do this. So in this white shot I have a ton of negative space, it's a little more stylistic. You can see all the ideas and all the empty space that Phil may have in his head. It really kind of speaks a little bit more to your audience. The emotion that a frame evokes is really dependent on how you compose it. So now that we have different white shots, let's get in and get a medium shot of Phil since I'm on a zoom lens, I'm able to just zoom in on my 24 to 70 and achieve this really quick medium shot. Normally if you're on a prime or you're on a different lens, you may have to get up and move your camera, whereas the wide shots, great to show the area you're in and really give your viewer space and show you where you are. A medium can be used for several things. It's really just to start to connect with your character, start to see what they're doing in the frame. It's also something that's used mostly for interview shots and for dialogue covering talking back and forth. So here's a good medium shot. It's composed, centered, it's very basic, but it allows us to get the amount of action that he's doing with some of the background. It's not as wide as the wide shot where we can see everything going on and it's not as emotional, but it's a really good way to cover. Next we're going to jump into a close shot. I'm at the end of my zoom now with a smartphone. Generally you're going to have to move around to get your shots because the zooms aren't great. Digital zooms are basically zooming in digitally and you can start to lose quality. So for here we're either gonna have to change to a longer lens or I'm gonna have to get up and move over there. I think I'm going to do that. Here's a close up shot of Phil this has a little bit more emotion. We're right in there. He's reading his book the books a little bit in frame so we can see what he's doing. We've gained more emotion by being closer to him. The audiences connecting a little bit more with our subject versus the wide where we see everything in the medium, where we may not see his face, We're right here, we're right here with him and we can really get in his head almost we can see what he's doing. So here's an extreme close up of fill, you can really see his eyes and what he's reading. We can really connect with the character here through the eyes and we can really see what he's doing. It really brings an entirely even deeper emotion into it. So see how Phil's reading his book right now. Watch what happens when he looks over here between this shot and the Wide shot, you know, as an audience member, what he could be looking at, because you've already been here, you've already seen the Wide Shot, you're inside his world and now you're with him emotionally. So next is an insert shot. This is really kind of detailing what our subject is doing. You can see here what book Phil is reading, he's planning a hike in Los Angeles and these types of shots can really be used for narrative or b roll for a documentary. The big thing about him is to really just kind of pick up on detail and see exactly what your subject is doing in order to relate back to them. These are the basic shots, you need to tell a story