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Video Production Tip: Using the Rule of Thirds

Using the Rule of Thirds in Video Production is one of the most traditional rules of composition.  It gives you an artistic understanding of how to position subjects in the frame in a way that is most visually compelling.  When composing a shot, the last thing you want to do is place your subject in the dead center of the frame; it makes for a static or dull image. 

Rather, use the Rule of Thirds by dividing the frame into 3 sections side to side, top to bottom, so that you end up with a 9 space grid kind of like a tic-tac-toe board.  This creates reference points which act as guides for framing an image.  Points of interest should be placed at 1/3 or 2/3 of the way up or across the frame rather than in the center.  Balance the image by placing the subject on one of the lines; when you do this, you get a much more interesting image.

rule_of_thirds.png

It's all about making your video better by putting your subject in different parts of the screen.  We tend to be more interesting when we can place subjects along these intersections.  When filming landscape, place the horizon line along the bottom or upper third of your frame rather than in the middle.  In close-up shots, place the subject's eyes one-third of the screen height from the top.

You may be asking yourself, "why do I want to use the rule of thirds?  I've always placed my subjects in the center of my frames."  The Rule of Thirds states that images may appear more engaging or dynamic when not placed in the center.  Key elements placed along these intersections suggest instability, tension, suspense, and intrigue.  Our minds direct the eye to scan for more information to re-establish a sense of stability and closure.

For more tips on video production techniques such as camera settings and lighting, try out one of our Video Production training classes.  Call us to schedule today!


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