The meaning of this word, which comes from Latin (componere – to put together), means something that is made out of single elements. The expression is common, for example we have heard about a train composition, musical composition, dance composition, composition in art, etc. A composition is a structure of single elements, that make a whole – in our case – a moving picture. Like every picture, the moving picture is also made out of basic art elements, which are point, line and plane.
At the moment we start observing the picture as a combination of basic elements of art, we open the doors to the world of the language of art composition. The observation of single elements and above all the relationships that exist between them is crucial for understanding composition. Composition can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, circular, triangular or free. Different compositions create different conditions between single elements, such as symmetry, stability, tension, domination, order or chaos. With the choice of composition we can influence the emotional states of the viewer and add a strong component to the whole film expression.
One of the basic principals or keys of composition is the golden ratio, the divine proportion of beauty, already well known by the ancient Greeks. The simplest way to illustrate it is with the division of a straight line into two uneven parts, so that the ratio between the whole length of the line and its longer part is the same as the ratio between the longer and shorter part of the line. More accurately, the golden ratio in maths represents the constant Φ amounting to 1,618…, which represents, if we simplify the mathematical accuracy to some extent, the relation between one third and two thirds.