Common shot types and how to use them
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect clip, think about more than its content — consider its role in the film’s narrative. Is the shot meant to convey a character’s sense of isolation? Look for long shots. Or will it emphasize their emotions? A close-up or headshot is best for that. Hone your search on dissolve.com by using the “shot type” filter. Here’s an overview of the kinds of shots and the role each plays.
In a close-up shot, a subject fills most of the frame. This is useful for emphasizing a telling detail in a scene or the nuances of someone’s reaction or emotion.
A headshot or “talking head” shot features a person’s face and is familiar as the standard framing for TV news presenters. With the focus on the face, this shot also draws attention to a person’s expressions, emotions, and reactions.
An establishing shot sets the broader context for the scene it precedes. It can show a location or environment, a time of day, season, or mood. Evening approaches in New York City, or winter grips a suburban neighborhood, for example.
A medium shot or “mid shot” shows a subject in more detail, usually from the waist up, and with more of the setting visible. Because it focuses on the character while still conveying surroundings, this versatile shot is one of the most common shots in films.
Long or wide shot
In a long or “wide” shot, you can see the subject top to bottom (head to toe). You see the surrounding environment and understand the subject’s relationship to it. Long shots can convey loneliness or solitude or be used as establishing shots because they portray the surroundings.
A wide-angle shot captures a big scene — perfect for sweeping landscapes or dramatic skies — or a smaller scene in a confined space, such as a room.
A dutch angle, “dutch tilt,” or “slanted” shot is taken with the camera tilted on an angle, so the horizon isn’t level. It’s often used for dramatic effect, to show unease, tension, discomfort, or disorientation.
For more information on shot types and examples, check out Dare Cinema’s video What Are the Basic Shot Types in Film Making?
And next time you’re searching for clips, experiment with filtering by shot types for more targeted results. If you need any help, hit up our friendly research team for free research.
5 Photography Magazines We Are Reading This Summer
Bored and uninspired? Check out these must-read photography magazines that have us daydreaming about summer. There is nothing like the feeling of discovering new sources of inspiration. From the visual satisfaction that comes with viewing perfectly fitting typography, to the imagery that purposefully conveys and compliments the information provided. Is there anything not to love […] Read more
How To Write Captions For Your Photos
The caption of a photo can either enhance or spoil it. Below, we will: Find out what a good photo caption entails; Learn how to write the best description for your photo; Look at the worst ideas to describe visuals (what not to do). What is a Good Photo Caption Photo captions are a great […] Read more
Shooting Stock on your iPhone: Basic Tips for Better Photos
In this day and age, everyone and their grandmother owns a smartphone with a built-in camera. Ironically, as our devices get smaller their associated cameras only get better. Gone are the days where you need to haul around a bulky DSLR or be well-versed in all of the techniques behind aperture and ISO in order […] Read more