What is Cinematography? Defining the Art and Craft
Jul 11, · funslovestory.com defines cinematography as “the art or technique of motion-picture photography.” 34 Being a technical area, we do not want to put a simple formula in place. The director, being the chief creative person for a movie, is in charge of the cinematography with the director of photography or the cinematographer being in charge of the actual camera, lighting, and electrical crews. Apr 27, · Cinematography is the art of photography and visual storytelling in a motion picture or television show. Cinematography comprises all on-screen visual elements, including lighting, framing, composition, camera motion, camera angles, film selection, lens choices, depth of field, zoom, focus, color, exposure, and filtration.
The director, being the chief creative person for a movie, is in charge of the cinematography with the director of photography or the cinematographer being in charge of the actual camera, lighting, and electrical crews. They will also choose the film stock and processing for the film. Many times the DP will be present during color timing as well. The DP works very closely with the Director to realize his vision of how the film should look.
The quickest way to view different camera shots and how they are used is by watching the following YouTube video. Extremely wide shot: Shows a broad view of the surroundings of the character and informs the audience as what is c d in shoe width what is going on.
It is often used as an opening shot to a new scene. Medium wide shot: Shows the character, usually cut off below the knees, but it is wide enough to show the settings around him or her and how to powerslide on a bike be close enough to show the expressions on his or her face. It fills up the entire frame with details. High Angle: The camera, placed above eye level, is looking downward.
This shot is often used to make the character seem small, weak, young, or confused. Low Angle: Used to make the character seem bigger, stronger, more frightening, or nobler. Pan: The camera rotates what color shower curtain for blue bathroom to side, while remaining in the same location. It is simply executed with a tripod.
Tilt: The camera is moved to aim upward or downward without changing location. Also done with a tripod. Zoom: Basically, zoom is moving the lens without moving the camera around. I would not recommend using this feature with a DSLR camera simply because it causes a fair amount of shakiness to your video and will take the audience out of the scene.
There are always exceptions, though, if the effect you desire needs a zoom, then use the zoom. An extreme wide shot, as indicated below, is used at the beginning of a scene when the director wants to identify where the scene is taking place. The establishing shot is a photo of a location that the viewer is familiar with, so immediate recognition of the setting for the scene by the viewer is accomplished.
A medium or mid shot films an individual from the waist up. Medium shots are often used when filming a conversation. When the director wants both people involved in a conversation to be seen at the same time, a two shot is used. If three people are involved in a conversation the director may use a three shot technique. When the director wants only one person in a shot, the person speaking may be shown and then when this person stops speaking the reaction of the other person may be displayed in a separate shot.
The close-up shot is used in an emotional scene. This shot is used for very dramatic scenes where the director wants the audience to feel emotion toward the character in a particular scene. The two-shot and three-shot films are used when two or three people are in the same framed shot.
A director may wish to use this type of shot when he wants the viewer to watch the person doing the talking and the reaction of the individual or individuals listening at the same time.
The over-the-shoulder shot and the point-of-view shot are used when the director wants to give the audience a subjective viewpoint or make the audience feel like they are part of the action. The over-the-shoulder shot is taken over the shoulder of one of the characters so the viewer sees the shoulder and one side of the face and neck of the one individual as this person is talking to another individual.
The viewer actually sees what the first character is looking at. In other words, this puts the viewer in the shoes of one of the characters, so that the viewer is able to see the reaction of the other character.
The point-of-view shot gives the viewer the exact observation what happens when you get gestational diabetes what a character sees without the shoulder and side of the head in the shot.
This shot is more of a first-person view, where the viewer sees exactly what the character is seeing. The previous camera shots and camera positions are discussed to provide a visual literacy between the viewer, and an image that was created and interpreted by the director and the camera crew as the story progresses and the character portrayals develop and change.
Lighting assists in establishing a background to the visual literacy that the director and movie crew are creating. Lighting is done in a three-point process. The design below includes a fourth point of lighting, that is, background lighting.
This is used if there is an object with a specific background that needs to be lit for a special reason. Low-key light and no-fill light leaves shadows. This is the type of mood that would be appropriate for crime, horror, or film noir movies.
The higher the key and fill lighting are; the brighter and happier the mood of the movie or scene is. A lot of key and fill lighting is appropriate for comedies and musicals. Three to four minutes into the movie, Detourthere is a good example of bright key light that becomes darker with shadows, and then the key light gets brighter again as the movie moves to a flashback. We will move away from the cinematography and go to the editing to assemble the shots in the best way possible.
These are the two processes that make a movie different from other productions such as live theatre performances. With the completion of this chapter, movies to watch that that are excellent examples of cinematography are:. This movie is an excellent example in scenery cinematography of the Far East. This movie is an excellent example in light and shadows of neo noir. This movie is an excellent example of cinematography establishing the turn-of-the-century atmosphere.
This movie is an excellent example in demonstrating futuristic fears. The Revenant, directed by Alejandro G. This movie is an excellent example of realism in action cinematography. Jack moves into the guest house of Betty and Alec. Betty has hired Jack, a private investigator, to do surveillance on Alec. Jack is bored and wants to leave a couple of times, but Betty appears and stops him because the situation is getting worse around the house.
Betty states that many men she has never seen have come to the house to see Alec. Alec states that he has taken precautions because of this. One night, Alec asks the relatives to come over for a party.
Everybody gets drunk and starts running around the yard, kissing the first person they see, regardless of the gender. At one point, Alec is with Betty, and Alec starts to get rough with Betty.
Jack cannot see what is going on and what is being said, so he starts to what is the average male head size closer. Suddenly Alec turns around with a surprised look on his face and a gun in his hand. Jack shoots him with Alec still looking mystified by the gun in his hand. The relatives, including Betty, run around hysterically as Jack calls the police. The police arrive, and they find that Alec is dead. They take Jack in to headquarters to go over what happened.
Skip to content Part II: Production. Cinematography Lesson One: Angles by Nathan Grebe Vocabulary Extremely wide shot: Shows a broad view of the surroundings of the character and informs the audience as to what is going on. Wide shot: Shows the character from head to toe.
Medium shot: Shows the upper body, arms, and head. Angles: High Angle: The camera, placed above eye level, is looking downward. Medium Angle: Most commonly used. Over the shoulder: Close up of the character shown over the shoulder of another character. Two shot: Both characters are shown in the frame. The camera moves. Dolly: The camera moves side to side.
This movement can be used to reveal something in a scene. Assignment Jack moves into the guest house of Betty and Alec. What type of cinematography shots would best express the above scenes? Previous: 5. What Is Directing? Next: 7. What Is Editing?
What does a cinematographer do?
Dec 07, · Cinematography is the art and craft of making motion pictures by capturing a story visually. Though, technically, cinematography is the art and the science of recording light either electronically onto an image sensor or chemically onto film. Taken from the Greek for "writing with movement," cinematography is the creation of images you see on screen. Jan 25, · Cinematography is generally defined as “the art and technology of making motion pictures. 1 ” It involves multiple cinematic elements, such as scene composition, also known as mise-en-scene; choice of camera along with lenses, filters and stock if shooting on actual film; camera movement and camera angles; the lighting setup for each shot; and potentially the inclusion of special effects. Feb 12, · Cinematography is the art of capturing images during the creation of motion pictures. In the past, artists working as cinematographers generally relied almost exclusively on cameras that captured footage on film, but over time, video capture technology has become more advanced, and as a result, many films are also made with high-definition digital cameras and other similar devices.
The pursuit of visual storytelling is at the heart of film-making. It is this art of storytelling, combined with photography and working with a camera in a motion picture that is termed cinematography.
Cinematography, as a term, is not only used in the field of entertainment; it can be used in science, business, and mass media as well. According to the definition given by the American Society of Cinematographers ASC , the cinematography is not only the documentation of what is happening; it is also creating an original art by an illuminating and creative process. Telling your own unique story, by devising a visual language requires innate natural talent and knowledge of professional photography skills.
Besides photography, a cinematographer uses other mediums like image manipulation, organization, management, etc. If a film has to be shown on the big screen, film-makers typically spend most of their budget on high-quality cinematography. Also known as the Director of Photography DP , cinematographers are the ones who capture the story in visuals using a camera. Cinematographers have to manage all the visual elements of the film, such as lighting , composition, color tones, camera movements, and such.
So, whether a scene needs to be shot at wide-angle or close, high or low, sharp or blur; it is all decided by the cinematographer. Cinematographers lead all the crew that works on the camera and lights of a film.
Their role is to work along with the director to ensure that the director's vision is being fulfilled. They have to work in a team involving complex decision-making. Usually, a director gives a brief on how a scene should look visually, and the cinematographer has the responsibility to achieve that. In most cases, the cinematographer would have plenty of creative freedom. However, the director can also provide precise instructions on the exact result she wants. The American Society of Cinematographers awards the best cinematographers in the industry.
They allow them to use "ASC" before their names on the credits of the film. Pixpa enables cinematographers and creative professionals to create and manage a portfolio website easily. Try it out with a day free trial. Camera Setup and Placement The cinematographer has to decide where to place the camera in a particular shot.
If the cinematographer chooses to put distance between the subject and the camera, then it would convey a different meaning than when the camera is at a close range. They have to decide which camera and lenses to use to portray a particular style and meaning.
Some important factors in the camera are the resolution, color sampling, and shutter, which helps cinematographers to express the best with light and position. The importance is not only the quality but how the visuals are telling the story. Camera Movement Camera movement also plays a vital role in determining how the film would turn out to be.
Usually, in an action film, cinematographers follow the action through the camera to convey the fast movement while they may keep the camera still to show the intensity of the moment. Composition The composition is what decides how a scene would look.
Cinematographers have to determine where to place each element of a particular scene. They can decide whether to show or hide certain elements of the frame. Tightly framing a subject may bring out emotions or create mystery about what is happening around the subject. A scene can also be portrayed in a way that the subject in the film may not realize what's happening around while the audience does. Such methods of compositions may determine how the audience will interpret the story.
Coordination Cinematographers have to coordinate with other members of the crew, like a location manager to research on the locations and figure out the camera vantage points. They can provide their feedback on the locations to the director and improve the visuals. Lighting Have you ever noticed that usually, a thriller film is quite dark lit while a comedy is bright?
Lighting is something people don't notice naturally. But it does change the mood of the film. High-key lighting is often used to show fun, happy emotions, and low-key lighting is often used to show mystery and moody emotions. Therefore cinematographers have to be experts at it and have to learn both artificial and natural light. And they have to know how to bring the proper contrast, depth, and shapes in a scene.
Cinematographers design the lighting system for the whole film, and the Lead Lighting Technician is the person who would execute the design. It is the responsibility of the cinematographer to select the camera used in making a film. The cinematographer will have to decide whether to use a film camera or a digital one, which types of lenses will be used, what camera setting would be needed, and what other equipments would be required.
If the film has a big budget, it would not mean that it can be used to get an expensive camera. There a lot of other factors to be taken into account, like how many lenses are required, how much it would cost for the lighting setup, and such. The main deciding factor for selecting equipment should be its ability to tell the story. Even films which have millions of dollars in budget use cheaper options if it serves the story better. A film camera can be used to show grains and texture.
The digital camera, on the other hand, gives a clean image. Digital cameras also give the capability to use a wider shutter than film cameras. You can also shoot in different file formats, which helps in giving more flexibility in post-production. Lenses Prime lenses are more used in making a film. The prime lenses have fixed focal length, and they give much higher quality results than a zoom lens.
Cinematographers use the 21mm, 28 lenses to get a wide shot, 50mm for medium shots, and 85mm to mm for portrait shots. One of the most common mounts for lenses in the independent productions is the Canon EF-mount. The lenses can be interchanged by using speed booster or adapters. Find a Creative Solution Finding different and unique ways to shoot can lead to a cinematography technique that will help in achieving the visual goal of the director.
This can also require making a detailed strategy on how to go about getting the shots. When Stanley Kubrik was shotting the film, Barry Lyndon, the cinematographer John Alcott wanted to shoot the entire film in natural light.
They even wanted to push the limits by shooting with candlelight for indoor scenes. For this, they borrowed a special lens from NASA that made it possible. And, the result of all this effort was a masterpiece. Focus on the story Creative cinematography style is important but not more than the story. If a story is not good or not appropriately shown, having just good visual effects or techniques will not make the film great.
Concerning this, Roger Deakins, the great cinematographer said: "There's nothing worse than an ostentatious shot or some lighting that draws attention to itself, and you might go, 'Oh, wow, that's spectacular. But it's not necessarily right for the film — you jump out, you think about the surface, and you don't stay in there with the characters and the story. Manage time efficiently Cinematography is a packed job. You have to interact with various department heads constantly.
Time, like money, would never be enough. The first AD will be on your head for finishing the tasks and, ultimately, the movie on time. It is better to plan the coverage, setups, lighting plans thoroughly before starting the shoot. A cinematographer can use various tools to manage their tasks. Know the script A cinematographer, although, needs to have the technical know-how, but creativity plays an equally important role.
Many times, the cinematographer and the camera crew are not well-versed with the script. The cinematographer, with the in-depth knowledge of the script, can bring up new suggestions, and questions to make the film better.
Use relevant gear Making a great film doesn't mean having the best camera and lenses. A cinematographer needs to learn which gear can help in achieving the end goals. This can mean not necessarily using the fully-featured Alexa package; even ENG cameras can do the job.
Learn from the best The great cinematographers also have learned from the greats before them. A cinematographer can gain knowledge and pass it on to the next generation by improving the cinematography techniques. Orson Welles, who made the well-acclaimed film Citizen Kane said that John Ford greatly inspired him. Legendary cinematographer John Ford is known to invent various lighting and camera techniques such as the western and chiaroscuro.
Welles learned the techniques from Ford and created his own classics and developed innovatory lighting techniques. Do camera tests Doing proper tests before a shoot is critical. Various components can go wrong when the actual shoot takes place. A cinematographer can do the camera test by using chip carts, color charts, and models.
Along with testing, handling, and maintaining the equipment are also important. Find the best location A good location can elevate the film to a different level. Take note of the lighting and weather conditions at different times of the day and year. A good location would mean that a cinematographer and the crew has to work less.
A bad location would take more effort to achieve the desired result. The best way to get good results is to get it right in the camera. Post-production can help, but it won't make a badly shot video good. Working on post-production will take more time and money.
A good cinematographer makes use of location, lighting, and other shooting techniques to make the cinematography outstanding. Making a career in cinematography is not an easy task. And there is no one way to become a cinematographer. Therefore it is beneficial to get educated in analog or digital film-making.