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Framing and Focusing

Framing and Focusing

Another simple way to enhance your camerawork is with shot composition. For starters, try and avoid camera moves unless absolutely necessary, or integral to a shot. Don't pan or zoom excessively, as these are the hallmarks of an amateur. Instead, save this kind of motion for when it will provide the best effects, for example zooming in on a static object to make it look more interesting, or panning across a larger scene for an intro shot.

If an interviewee is not looking straight at the camera, place them off the centre of the frame for a more balanced shot.

When framing a shot, try to balance the contents of the frame. This is particularly important with people. If you're interviewing someone and they are looking straight at the camera, they should be in the centre. But if they are looking to one side slightly, place them about one-third across the frame, looking into the other two thirds. This will make the frame more balanced.

As a final compositional tip, try and use manual focusing where you can. Although autofocus is very handy, it can sometimes shift when you least want or expect it to. Setting focus manually will stop this and ensure the desired subject matter remains in focus. You can also experiment with ‘focus pulling', where you change focus from one object in the frame to another thereby shifting the viewer's attention. It takes skill to get right, but can have a very dramatic effect.

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