The Long Shot (LS) - which is the full height of a person. The whole picture
of a building or all of the important features of a scene. See Fig. 7g.
The Medium Shot or Mid Shot (MS) - which is from just below the waist to
above the persons head. Part of the building or part the scene. See
The Close Up (CU) - which is from the shoulder to above the person's head.
A close detail of the building or the scene. See Fig. 7c.
The frame should not noticeably cut the main subject at the eyes, mouth,
hands or ankles. If the breasts, elbows, waist or knees are easily noticeable,
then the latter should also not be cut by the frame.The hand should be fully
in or fully out of the frame.
The main subject should be off-centre - this is roughly, part of the Rule
off Thirds. Figs 8,9
Provide looking and walking space. See Figs 7g, 7h, 8 and 9.
Use framing devices.
With scenic views - having the sun behind you, helps avoid backlight problems,
but often, the early morning or late afternoon sun out to one side, will
cast good contrasting shadows.
Be aware of everything in the frame. Make sure that objects in the background
dont appear to grow out of peoples heads or otherwise spoil the
scene. Its also important to look at whats kept out of the frame
- compared to what you are including in the frame. Refer also to
Part 8 (Framing Devices and Dealing
with the Background).
It is not essential to strictly follow the Rule of Thirds.
The Rule of Thirds is - divide the frame into imaginary thirds, horizontally
and vertically and place the subject matter approximately along these lines.
Excessive backlight caused by large areas of sky or water (even in rainy
weather) can cause the automatic exposure to darken the other parts of the
scene when recording - the automatic exposure control has closed the iris
down slightly. Manual adjustment of the exposure will not fix the problem
- it spoils the main part of the picture. As a result, the common practice
is to ignore the Rule of Thirds in this case - by zooming in closer to reduce
the amount of sky or water.
Many professional movie makers keep the main subject to the left or right
of centre - sometimes by a small amount, sometimes a significant amount -
the extra space is then provided for looking or walking. The vertical location
of the subject is a matter of what looks right. If possible keep the sun
behind you or to one side when taking the shots.
Provide looking and moving space in front of a face, person, animals or moving
machinery and objects. See Figs 7g, 7h, 8 and 9. Pan to follow the
action, unless the subject is to move out of the frame.
These are often used in dramas for two person dialogues. See Fig. 10. Do
not use more than two consecutive (OTS) shots at a time; mix in other types
of shots. The person with their back to the video camera - should show part
of the side of their face.
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Authors' views are not necessarily those of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers.
Art work by Tony Kendle.