Last year, Raymond Thi reignited our appreciation for film cinematography. Through his app, Composition Cam, he highlighted the brilliant arrangements of memorable scenes in iconic movies like The Shining, Ghostbusters, and Citizen Kane. Thi has recently expanded his idea by examining even more visually stunning film and TV compositions.
Thi places bright pink lines to show how each scene is built. Through simple shapes like triangles and circles, as well as division of halves and thirds, he demonstrates that every frame of a film is truly a blank canvas. Cinematographers use the same compositional guidelines as artists, with an added twist—their work is constantly in motion. When you consider that these stills are just one fraction of what’s involved in the entire production, it’s all the more impressive.
Since his project, Thi has created a new website called Geometric Shots, which is a collection of these freeze-frames from movies and TV. “What’s cool about the site is that all the images are tagged and categorized,” he tells us in an email. Compositions are classified based on their organization (like quadrant, diagonal, and symmetry). “The shots are very pleasing to look at when viewed together by group,” Thi explains. “You can definitely see some patterns emerging, for example the triangular images have a strong correlation with power.”
Head on over to Geometric Shots to see what else Thi has revealed. And if you’d like this sort of reference for your own photos, Composition Cam is now available on iOS and Android.
Thanks to strong film compositions, these scenes are memorable.
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My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Raymond Thi.
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