Erin Barney, Michael Kohntopp, Hans Aagard
Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, Film and Music Production
Material Type:
College / Upper Division, Career / Technical, Adult Education
Image Composition, Image and Video Analysis, Iowa K-12 E-Curriculum, Videography, iowa-k-12-e-curriculum
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike
Media Formats:
Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML

Image Composition

Image Composition


In this assignment, students learn how to identify and perform basic shot types. These shots are the building blocks for any media project. Students will go out and film examples of each of the basic shots. Students will use cameras on their cell phones and individually. Students will spend approximately 1 hour gathering images and uploading the videos to the class Powerpoint project.

Types of Shots

In this assignment, you learn how to identify and perform basic shot types. These shots are the building blocks for any media project. The instructor will review the types of shots and then ask you to go out and capture video examples of each type. You will use the camera on your cell phone and work individually. You will spend approximately 1 hour gathering images and uploading the images to the class Powerpoint project.

Student Materials - Things you will need

Instructor Directions

  1. Share presentation MediaPro 301 Image Composition

  2. Demonstrate (as needed)

    1. Explanation of the rubric and/or grading system

    2. How to record video on devices they’ll be using

    3. How to upload video to the service/location the class will be using

    4. How to create a document

      1. Explanations of videos

      2. How to add links to video

    5. How to share the document with the instructor (shared, submitted through LMS, emailed)

  3. Give students 1 hour to record the videos and write up explanations

    1. Suggest to students that they record video for 30 minutes and take 30 minutes to upload them and write up explanations

Student Materials - Things you will need

  • A camera that can shoot video for every student if they are to be graded individually. If there are not enough devices for every student, they can share and be graded as a group.

  • Access to a location to upload videos (Google Drive, YouTube, shared folder, etc.)

  • A device (computer, laptop, tablet, mobile device) to create and edit a document (Word, Google Doc, LibreOffice, etc.) that can link to where videos are uploaded

  • A physical location where they can record videos

Instructions for Types of Shots Activity

Individual instructions for specific technology like Drive, YouTube, Docs, Word, etc. need to be created by the instructor.

To complete this activity, demonstrate the three basic shot types:

  • Wide

  • Medium

  • Close-Up

For each, demonstrate effective use of the rule of thirds.


You will have one hour. Here is the suggested time breakdown:

  1. 30 minutes

    1. Record video

  2. 30 minutes

    1. Upload video

    2. Create explanation document

    3. Add video links

    4. Write explanations

    5. Submit explanation document with links


In the document, use the following format, for the wide, medium, and close-up shots. In your explanation, describe the type of shot and how your video meets its criteria - show that you understand the shot type as well as the rule of thirds.


Wide Shot

Link to video

Explanation: This is a wide shot because…

Rule of thirds: This follows the rule of thirds because…


Example of steps:


Prep the folder and document

  1. Create a folder in Google Drive called “Types of Shots”

  2. Inside it, create a Doc called “Types of Shots”

  3. Create a subfolder in called “Video”

  4. Copy and past the example format above into the document, pasting it two more times, and change the titles to Medium and Close-Up shots.


Record the video

  1. Go outside and record on your phone at least 10 seconds of video of a wide, medium, and close-up shot. Be sure to use the rule of thirds.

    1. The video does not need to be part of the same narrative, but needs to have a clean entrance and exit.


Upload the video

  1. Open Google Drive on your phone. Be sure to be connected to wifi.

  2. Find the “Video” folder within the “Types of Shots” folder.

  3. You may want to Store and play video in Google Drive

  4. Upload each of your videos into the “Video” folder. These instructions may help: Upload files and folders to Google Drive


Write explanations

  1. In the computer lab, re-open your “Types of Shots” documents.

  2. Replace Link to video with a link to the corresponding video in your “Video” folder.