(This is for my wife.)
Here’s how to compose better shots immediately!
Next time you want to shoot something, pay attention to what’s in the background of your viewfinder.
Here’s a composition ruined by stuff in the background, and how to fix it.
This shot could be about a horseshoe crab. Or it may be about the dude in the background sporting a very well developed beer-belly. If you can’t easily tell, then the composition is just not working too well.
How to Correct Bad Compositions. (Simplified)
If there’s something that looks weird in your background, then change your shooting perspective.
- Move the camera a few feet over, and check again.
- Ask the subject to move over a few steps.
- Give the father next to you a lollipop to switch seats at the school dance recital that nobody’s going to watch anyway… So I’m not sure why you even bothered to bring your video camera. Hey, look. Every other parent has brought their cameras too. WHO is going to have to watch this video? The Mom’s parents. That’s who. Will they WANT to watch? I doubt it. They’ll watch it all right- just to be polite. Then, they’ll look at me with those… those eyes…
(Woa. I digress.)
The above problem was fixed by taking a few steps to my right.
Now, I can happily shoot away without having to subject my audience to unwanted guttage.
If my wife is still reading… Go out there, and frame up some awesome looking shots!
If you have little kids, then they probably think you have eyes in the back of your head.
There’s no limit to your mind reading ability.
- Your small children even think you can pull a rope through your body! (If you want to.)
There’s probably something you do that your kids think is amazing. Record it in a home movie.
When they’re older, they’ll still think it’s awesome!
All at once, your senses come alive. Your ears ache from the unmistakeable rumble of an automobile engine. Your nostrils fill with the unmistakeable scent of gasoline. Your eyes haven’t had time to adjust to the daylight, but you recognize that a black Cadillac is bearing down on your position.
Your head is ringing like a fire bell, and you’ve just woken up on the freeway. How? Why?
The mystery will wait to be answered. Now, you need to survive.
Was that a good way to begin a story?
(let’s just say it’s good.)
Now, read the following:
I went out friday night with my friends. They gave me a glass filled with what I thought was iced tea. We talked, and we told some jokes. Then I started to feel a little strange. I think things got a little crazy, and you’re not going to believe what happened next…
Uhh. That last one stunk?
Exactly. The first story beginning hooked you in because you found yourself in the middle of action right away.
(I like action. People like action. You like action. If you don’t like action, then pretend you like action.)
- So the action amps the reader up, and provides a reason to keep reading. How did this guy end up on the freeway? What’s he going to do next?
The second story beginning stunk because you’re told, right off the bat most of the details.
- The reader can easily fill in the details on their own, and they have no reason to continue.
When you’re making your own movie, don’t make it stinky.
Drop your viewers into some action right away.
Also remember that movies are a visual medium. The more action you can show, the more compelling your movie will be.
(Hey that’s a song by Rush- Show Me, Don’t Tell Me… and my nerd factor just ratcheted up another notch.)
If you can hook your audience into your story right off the bat, then that does NOT STINK at all.
Class dismissed. (Go make an awesome home movie.)
It’s the same old song and dance my friends… You visited a big tourist attraction, and you shot way too much footage.
Nobody will ever want to see you posing next to the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.
Not ever… No. Nobody.
That is– unless you watch this and make your boring vacation clips into something wildly cool.
The Moral of the Story?