Everything You Need to Know About Composition | 4 Tips

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

We’ve all done it –capture a scene that’s Oscar-worthy, only to fall short on composition.


It’s pretty simple (but we suggest taking mental notes). Just like in photography, in videography, your frame has the power to make or break it all. By carefully arranging the elements in the frame, you create what you would want your viewer to see, the context in which it’s viewed and the story it tells. Every frame of your film should be nothing short of perfect. Composition is the art of arranging objects, images or actors in a frame… which is what we do best.

Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash

Here are a few tips that have helped us along the way:

1. Positioning

Photo by Patrik László on Unsplash

You control which image elements fall inside or outside the frame. The way in which the elements are positioned in the frame plays an integral part in the storytelling. The easiest is to place the subject in the center of the frame and to integrate in the power of symmetry. Symmetry is a tool that instantly helps create a sense of harmony and aesthetically pleasing balance and proportion. How strong or weak the symmetric properties of an object are, will depend on how the camera is positioned and how much of the scene is shown on the frame.

2. Rule Of Thirds

Photo by Spurwing Agency on Unsplash

To build balance, position your subject according to the Rule Of Thirds. First, divide your screen into thirds – three vertical sections and three horizontal sections. Position your subject along these lines that divide the frame. For a more balanced result, place the elements at the intersection of the horizontal and the vertical lines. The areas around and between the objects are called the Negative Space. Make creative use of this! Optimise this to see shapes and sizes more effectively.

3. Separation

Photo by Mubariz Mehdizadeh on Unsplash

P.S: Check out our Mad Mondays post for a quick summary!

Your goal is to drive the viewer’s focus towards the subject. We tend to place our subject far too close to or in line with the background – this instantly reduces the focus on the subject. To draw attention to the subject, shoot from an angle which positions the subject as far from the background as possible.

Having difficulty in moving your subject? A detailed tutorial on Separation drops soon. Follow us on Instagram.

4. Leading Lines

Photo by Jose Llamas on Unsplash

Perfecting a wider shot? Study the strong lines of the elements in the frame. The viewer’s eye is naturally trained to follow horizontal, vertical, parallel and diagonal lines, so take advantage of this.

Photo by Renata Schaitza on Unsplash

Spend a good few minutes carefully analyzing all the elements – study how the paths, tracks, buildings and streets are positioned and how their leading lines take you on a visual journey, creating depth and perspective. Understand how the elements are naturally arranged to direct the viewer’s eye – place your subject at the end of a leading line to get the viewer’s eye to follow the line to a particular area.

And there you have it. The 4 key pointers in videography that have helped us create the pieces you see today.

Go ahead. Make your own.

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