The moving image is merely a series of
photographs joined together - imagine a flip book!
A film maker can encode messages
by using camera shots, camera
angles and camera movement.
An establishing shot helps to develop the setting of the shot.
It tells us where we are and it is also where the
This shot tells us that we are in London
(Big Ben). This is done by iconography.
However, not all establishing shots include
iconography. For example, the vast
amount of trees represent a forest and the
sandy landscape represents a desert.
Extreme Long Shot
An extreme shot (sometimes called as wide shots) is almost
like an establishing shot, but it can also help to make an
object or person seem vulnerable to its surrounding.
This shot helps to establish
the character in the setting.
A long shot is a shot that films a person from their head to
their toe (their whole figure). It can also show a large
section of the location.
In this shot, we are able to see
their whole figure, yet it also shows
the background in which it helps us
to understand where they are.
Other examples of a long shot can
be seen in photography - models
A mid shot only films the top half of a person (from head to
waist). It also shows the location of where they are. A mid
shot is a good choice for shot/reverse shot (where the shot
alternates between 2 people - this helps to develop a
Shot/reverse shot - helps to develop a
conversation between two people. Note how the
camera keeps the shot as a mid shot, even
though it alternates between the two.
Medium Close Up only the head and shoulders
A medium close up shot shows
of a person. It helps to portray 2 people being more
intimate. This shot is also useful for doing
Sometimes medium close up shots help to
portray a characters emotion.
Over the Shoulder Shot
An over the shoulder shot is when you film over a persons
shoulder. This helps to develop what the person is seeing
- so that you as the audience can see it too.
This type of shot could possibly be the beginning of a
shot/reverse shot - if it alternates between the two.
A close up shot only shows the face of a person. It helps to
portray emotions and reactions clearer - it enhances the
shot. For example, if it was in HD, the sweat of someone is
portrayed better. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a
person, it can be certain elements of mise en scene everything we see: props, lighting, music…
Extreme Close Up
An extreme close up shot only focuses on a specific part of
an object or person. For example: an eye, telephone…
An extreme close up shot helps to
focus on a specific part of an
object/person. It helps to portray an
Point of View (POV) Shot
A point of view shot is a type of cut away (sudden cuts from
and to different things) that shows what a character is
seeing. This type of shot helps to make sense of what is
happening to the audience.
This is a POV shot, because as the
audience, you are made to pretend that
you are the character itself looking
amongst these other characters.
You can also
get gun point
filters as a POV
shot - you as
are seeing what
the gun is
A deep focus shot involves a large depth of field where every
plane is in focus. The whole image is in focus.
Background Mid-ground Foreground
All planes of these shots are in focus.
A shallow focus shot is when one object/person is in focus to
its surroundings. For example: if the foreground is in focus,
the background will not and likewise.
These 2 shots show that the foreground
is in focus to its background.
A racking focus shot is when the shallow focus alternates
between what it focuses on. So, if an object was in focus in
the foreground with the background not in focus, it will then
change so that the background is in focus to the
An example of a racking focus shot would be
when the focus of either the foreground or
background alternates. So the background is
currently in focus whilst she is speaking. To
make this a racking focus, the foreground would
then be in focus for when he is speaking.
A zoom shot is when you change the focal length from wider
to close up. For example, someone sees something and
the camera zooms in on him because a story is about to
start - imagine someone telling a child a story and the
camera zooms in on their eye to go back into the time of
Low Angle Shot
A low angle shot is when you film from under the object or
person. It helps to portray superiority and power.
Shows that they
Shows that the tower bridge
is big and majestic.
High Angle Shot
A high angle shot is when the camera is filmed from a higher
angle/above the object/person. It helps to portray
vulnerability by making the object/person seem small to its
A Dutch tilt shot is when the camera frame is canted on an
angle. This type of shot helps to represent a sense of
This type of shot are mainly used in
horror/thrillers. It helps to portray a sense
on unease and tension.
A bilateral symmetry shot is when the camera is positioned
so that it is the same on both sides (left and right) of the