Types of Camera Shots in Film


We all watch films and sometimes we feel an emotion of connecting with the scene. This is a camera technique called camera shots. Different types of camera shots used to give you different emotion and feel. Example close-up shots of a character shows more expression and emotion to us.

Let’s list the type of camera shots that used most of the time in the films.

Basic Camera Shots

  • Extreme Long Shot: These types of shots used to show the environment of a scene relative to a character on a massive scale. Basically, in extreme long shots, the character isn’t visible but shot shows the surroundings of character. For Instance, War movie show an extreme wide shot of battlefield to set the environment for users on a big scale. Extreme long shot sometimes also referred to as Establishing shot cause it establishes the environment for a scene.
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Extreme Long Shot Of Desert
  • Long Shot: This shot covers the place where the activity is happening. It doesn’t make any emotional impact on the audience. A long shot shows the area where the whole thing is going on. Example, Our character is playing on the ground then the long shot will cover the whole ground in one scene where we can see all activities like people cheering, more side characters in the scene doing some action, cheerleaders and our character too but from far.
  • Medium Long Shot: Long shot but on a medium scale. It also doesn’t show emotion but more powerful cause it shows the movement of character or any kind of work he is doing. Most of the case medium long shot will cover full character from head to toe in a frame. Example, the character is teaching in the classroom and we have shot of his full body along with whiteboard and hist activity.
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Medium Long Shot of Character
  • Medium Shot: is our favourite in all types of camera shots. Now, this is the shot where we start to engage with the character on a personal level. In real-world, it is a position where we involve in a conversation with a person. Similar distance is maintained with Medium shots to the character.
medium_shot.jpg, Types of Camera Shots
Medium Shot
  • Close Up: shots used to connect the audience with the character on an emotional level. It shows the expression of an actor. It is in direct contact with character. Close up shot also show actions of a character with more impact. Actor’s head takes most of the area in the frame. If your actor is powerful in acting, you should use close up shot for him.
  • Extreme Close Up: If we want to increase the emotional intensity, extreme close up puts the camera right in the face of an actor. This shot also works for objects. Like showing ticking of the clock. This shot called a detailed shot also. For Instance, the actor is crying and you want to increase the intensity of crying then take extreme closeup actor’s eye and tears.
Extreme Close Up

You can check more about all types of camera shots in this video.

Basic Camera Moves

  • Zoom: As we all know this is a general term. If we talk about Zoom move, it reflects the focus in a scene is on a particular object or actor. Zoom shows a certain focus point with the camera. Check this GIF: https://gph.is/2zUnGPo.
  • Pan: When a camera move on its axis horizontally called Pan move. In other words, the camera fixed on the tripod and move tripod head horizontally left-right. This type fo move used to follow character or showing a landscape scene.
  • Tilt: In Pan camera moves on its axis horizontally. Similarly, In Tilt camera move on its axis vertically up and down. In conclusion, both tilt and pan are the same but their movements are up-down and left-right respective.
  • Dolly: We use a zoom lens to perform Zoom movement In Dolly, movement camera mounted on track and move mechanically forwards and backwards. This make feels the audience that we are moving towards character or object.
  • Truck: This camera movement is similar to Dolly, However it is performed horizontally with track or wheels.
  • Pedestal: This movement is different from tilt. In tilt, motion camera is fixed on its axis and we move it up-down. In Pedestal, the camera is also moved up-down and used to capture a long subject while keeping it in the frame. For Instance, a building.

You might also love our latest post on Film Production Stages. Check more on types of shots in film here.

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