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Principles Of Composition In Digital Media Production

October 15, 2013 Digital Media Production, IADT General 0 Comments

Visual Composition PrinciplesTaking a photo, shooting a short video clip, or developing a basic animation is easy when you do it for fun. You rely on your creativity and intuition as a guide to produce a work that’s visually pleasing.

But once you pursue digital media production training, you realize that there’s a lot more to creating a work than you thought. Besides using your creative talents, starting a project relies on your ability to apply the principles of composition.

Visual composition is an important subject covered by all students of photography, graphic design, and more. If you’re interested in digital media production, visual composition can provide a frame of reference for your work with different types of media.

Familiarize yourself with the principles of composition by taking a look at the terms below.

Visual Composition Principles

Focus or Center of Interest – the element that draws the viewer’s eye and is the most important part of the image.

Unity – when all elements are connected, showing that they belong together to compose a whole.

Contrast or Opposition – using visual elements that present very different effects, such as dark versus light.

Movement – positioning elements to indicate whether they are moving in the image.

Rhythm – repeating elements consistently within an image to please the eye.

Balance – indicating the weight of different elements through size, dark and light contrast, or through symmetry.

Harmony – when an image is complex, but all of the effects complement each other to compose a cohesive or pleasing whole.

Proportion – the relationship between elements of different sizes and between the elements and the whole.

Although these terms are important for digital media students and professionals to understand, they shouldn’t hinder your style. After all, the famous American landscape photographer Ansel Adams said, “I usually have an immediate recognition of the potential image, and I have found that too much concern about matters such as conventional composition may take the edge off the first inclusive reaction.”

So the next time you use or create an image, what is your first reaction? Does it naturally fit the principles of composition, or is it missing something? Thinking through your process can help you become better at working with media. 


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