Establishing Shots set up the context for a scene by
showing the relationship between key areas and
characters. Establishing shots tend to be long shots
or mid shots. In Casino Royale this establishing shot
is used in the opening sequence setting the scene in
a construction site.
The extreme long shot is taken from a far
distance and is used to set the scene. There is
very little visible detail within the shot and gives
general information rather than specific
Long shots are clips which show the subject as life
size. In a cinema the shot would be a real distance
between the subject and the audience. Long shots
include the full shot of an object or person. The
detail is on the subject however background detail
is still visible.
The mid-shot contains a figure from the waist up
and is often used in dialogue scenes between two
or three characters, the two shot or three shot.
Background detail is kept to a minimum as the
location has probably been established by this
point. Mid shots are usually used for filming shot
reverse shots also.
The close up concentrates on a face of a character
or a specific detail. The background is blurred so all
attention is on the subject. A close up is a very
intimate shot . They can be used to make us feel
uncomfortable or comfortable about a character.
Extreme close ups magnify beyond what the
human eye would experience in reality. It is a
very artificial shot and can be used for dramatic
effect. The tight focus means that it is important
that lighting and the setting up of the shot are
Bilateral symmetry positions characters or
objects equally on either side of the frame. It
looks constructed and can be very dramatic.
Deep focus has a large depth of field and every
part of the image is in focus. It is important that
lighting and lenses are used correctly. Because of
this it is an unusual shot. However with the
increased availability of technology it is becoming
Shallow function has a narrow depth of field
and only one plane within the frame is clear and
sharp. This is usually in the foreground focusing
on a character or object.
The Dutch tilt is the tilting of the camera
angle. It creates a sense of tension or unease
but can be used to create an unrealistic
Low angles help give a character the sense of
authority. The background of a low angle shot will
tend to be just sky or ceiling, the lack of detail about
the setting adding to the disorientation of the viewer.
The added height of the object may make it inspire
fear and insecurity in the viewer, who is
psychologically dominated by the figure on the
High angles make the object photographed
seem smaller, and less significant. The object or
character often gets swallowed up by their
setting - they become part of a wider picture.