Friday, August 29, 2014


The first and most well known type of composition is center composition. As the name suggests, it places the subject or main focus of the shot.
Center Composition from Hot Fuzz
Center Composition seen again in Jaws.
Very often center composition will have symmetry in the shots. As the article note, director Wes Anderson uses lots of center composition in his films, almost all of them having near perfect symmetry.

The next type mentioned in the Rule of Thirds. The rule of thirds can be very helpful in placing important parts of the image where the eye will be drawn to them. This is achieved by drawing two evenly spaced horizontal lines across the frame and two evenly spaced vertical lines down the screen. This creates nine equally sized boxes. It is along those lines and at those intersections where the parts of the shot you think are most important should be placed to stand out the most. 
The rule of thirds is pretty incredible...get it?
As seen in this shot from The Incredibles, many of the important details of the shot; the phone, the baby, both characters eyes, are either on or very close to the lines and intersections.

The next type of composition is called The Golden Triangle in reference to the golden ratio, which the composition type uses. The main line of the shot bisects the screen into two diagonally. The line is called the major line. Another lines comes out from this line in a perpendicular manner creating the triangle.

There are two types of diagonal composition. The first type, sinister, goes from right to left, while the second type, baroque, go from left to right. This can often be told by the subject of the shots face and where they look. 
I'm not allowed to talk about this one
In this shot from Fight Club, we can see the sinister diagonal composition in Tyler Durden's gaze.
Below is an example of Baroque composition.

the final type of composition is perhaps the most artistic. It's called the Golden Ratio. The article describes the golden ratio as "aesthetically pleasing proportion where the largest shape is divided by a perfect square, and the resulting rectangle is in exact proportion to the original one" 

The golden ratio is best know as being involved in the fibonacci sequence, where a number is the sum of the previous two numbers. This appears everywhere in nature. The most common image associated with it is the golden spiral. 

Note: Spiral not actually golden.
This composition type was very popular in renaissance art and more recently, fighting Ukrainian politicians.
 In the below image we see the golden ratio in Paul Thomas Anderson's epic There Will Be Blood.
Actually very little blood.


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