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Framing the Shot > Framing the Shot - Pg. 60

Video Composition: A Crash Course The Rule of Thirds Most people assume that the center of the frame should contain the most important element of your shot. As a result, 98 percent of all video footage features the subject of the shot in dead center. For the most visually interesting shots, however, dead center is actually the least compelling location for the subject. Artists and psychologists have found, instead, that the so-called Rule of Thirds makes better footage. Imagine that the video frame is divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, as shown in Figure 2-9. The Rule of Thirds says that the intersections of these lines are the strongest parts of the frame. Putting the most interesting parts of the image at these four points, in other words, makes better composition. Save the center square of the frame for tight closeups and "talking heads" (shots of people standing alone and talking to the camera, as in a newscast). Even then, try to position their eyes on the upper-third line. Mind the Background Most home videographers don't pay much attention to the background of the shot, and worry only about the subject. The result can be unfortunate juxtapositions of the background with the foreground image--tree branches growing out your boss's head, for example, or you and your camcorder accidentally refected in a mirror or glass, or