youtu.be/CvLQJReDhic is a superb video where Lewis Bond talks us through the gentle art of composition.
What amazed me is the parallels it made me draw to my own profession as a maker and shaper of digital experiences and services. I can even see the narrative work for business strategy — challenge fix mindset with growth.
For decades we have relied on the values and principles deriving from graphic design and brochures; or advertising and PR; and almost denying the true unique qualities that the digital medium provides us with, such as: dynamic content, interaction, continuous revising (to mention a few). In similar ways of how many organisational models and practices are still built and operating on a factory mentality.
Anyway. Food for thoughts.
Outtake from the video below.
Found via kottke.org/16/01/the-importa...
To compose an image, is to create an everlasting metaphor. Cinema in it’s purest form is visual story telling, and the best cinema can tell a story through something as simple as the arrangement of an image: staging, framing, depth, balance; how do you present space?
Out of all the discipline that coincide under the umbrella of cinematography, I won’t have much hesitation in saying that composition is the fields most fundamental principle.
Why do I think this? Because deciding the placement of subjects through the view-finder of a camera isn’t merely a technical decision; it’s an expressive one.
In a nutshell, composition is simply how the element inside the frame is position and exhibited to the viewer, it’s the skill of knowing what to show and what not to show, as well as how to show it or how not to show it.
By intentionally directing the structure within a frame, you enhance the meaning of whatever is you want to say with whatever canvas you want to work with.
Most of the application of the composition revolves mainly around visual necessity—those checkboxes that needs to be ticket when arranging the visual elements of an image; is there enough lighting, does the staging block any important visual information. Case in point as to why composition is a necessary technical skill when constructing any image. Without it films would be a sensory of overload of information without stucture, but with it you gain focus.
However as an art, it shouldn’t be approached exclusively with pragmatism, because it’s just not where we place our subjects of interest; but why.
What can we say with composition.
They [excessful visual templates such as ‘rule of third’ and ‘golden ratio’] are tried and tested formulas that makes an image pleasent to the eye, yet when the rules that define an area of study is practically ingrained in our minds; it can be very difficult to demonstrate versatility. Be that as it may, composition verity isn’t the focus here; but what do these compositions say and what can you say when you go against this formula.
In the grand scheme of things: cinema is still a relatively new artform, and cinema took influence during it’s infancy from the existing medium in order to undertand it’s role in the artistic landscape.
Many early directors and filmmakers either directly hailed from theatre, or in the very least influence by the form. Yet the impact this had on composition could’t be ignored. Because how different film was, composition didn’t even occur to many filmmakers, instead; technic were imported directly from theatre.
Once filmmakers realised that cameras didn’t need to be be locked down in one spot and once the technology that was propelling the artform improved; the imagination of filmmakers started to flourish. Where composition were once a last minute invitation of the convention setup of other mediums, now it was being championed by artist such as Fritz Lang and the german expressionist who became pioners of using composition for tonal leverage.
Every single shot in cinema uses composition, but those images that haunts us, astound us; they awoke such emotions, just not because they are beautiful, but because they carry meaning.
Composition can still be used to effect us on a psychological level; and thats how you should think when composing an image: what emotion can i display.
Create a sufficient structure to your image; make sure it’s visually pleasing; find your focal element and use interesting visuals to highlight them; and everything you do from their should be an artistic venture to convey your message.
Every subtle change you make in positioning of your framing creates a new emotion — it creates a new piece of art — and all of this is achieve through composition is a skill that can images last for ever.