The Art of Cinematography

Elements of Cinematography

Camera Placement and Movement

Placement of camera greatly affects how the audience will react to the shot and eventually to the rest of the scene. It provides a significant impact to the character behavior and the particularities of the shot. Details and small things in camera placement matters determining the storyline, making it more effective. Camera movement can heighten the emotion and suspense in a scene. Moving the camera with the characters gaining perspective, keeping the camera static and now we’re separated from them and then peering in.

Shot Composition and size

Composition refers to the way elements of a scene are arranged in a camera frame. Shot composition refers to the arrangement of visual elements to convey an intended message. Starting from the main visual element i.e., your actors and applying techniques to set up perfect composition. Shot size determines how much of the scene is actually seen. From a close up shot to a wide angle shot of a particular scene, it determines the things that are supposed to be visible. It becomes important to make attention to some details and shot size help you in such.


Part of a cinematographer’s job is to play with focus to emphasize different aspects of the story. A basic example of this is showing how intoxicated the character is by going in and out of focus. There are many types of camera focus available, each with their own particular storytelling value.


While there is a separate lighting person, cinematography demands this knowledge. Cinematography is what we see on-screen, and how well or horribly the scene is lit is a huge aspect of the craft. There are many approaches and styles to lighting having their own value to the scene.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store