20 Shot Examples

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20-Shot Examples
Extreme Long Shot - ELS

Subject should be dwarfed by surroundings. It may be difficult to recognize the subject from this distance.

This type of shot is commonly used as an "establishing shot" - to familiarize the audience with the overall environment, or as a shot that shows the vastness of the environment and relative powerlessness of the subject.

Long Shot - LS

Shows the subject and surroundings. It should be easier to recognize the subject from this distance.

This type of shot is commonly used to show a subject in his/her environment. The audience's perceived distance from the subject can project a voyeuristic feel, or one of detachment.

Full Shot - FS

Closer view of the subject and surroundings. The subject should be easily recognizable from this distance. The subject is clearly more visually dominant than the surroundings. This is about the closest we can get to the subject and still see him/her from head to toe.

3/4 or Knee Shot

Closer, slightly more intimate view of the subject. Shows the subject from roughly the knees up. Audience-subject proximity is that of acquaintance or stanger.

Cowboy/Thigh Shot

Closer, even more intimate view of the subject. Shows the subject from roughly the thigh up. Called a "Cowboy" shot, as it was commonly used in Westerns to show a subject with gun holsters.

Audience-subject proximity is that of friend or acquaintance.

Waist /Medium Shot -MS

Closer, even more intimate view of the subject. Shows the subject from roughly the waist up. Audience-subject proximity is that of friend or acquaintance.

Chest Shot

Shows the subject's head, shoulders, and chest. Audience-subject proximity is that of good friend or relative.

Close Up - CU

Shows the subject's complete head and shoulders. Audience-subject proximity is that of intimate friend or close relative.


Extreme Close Up - ECU

Shows part of the subject's head or part of the body. Audience-subject proximity is that of spouse, lover, parent/child. Extreme close up of a stranger or unfamiliar subject may produce tension, discomfort.

Reveal

A shot that reveals significant information.

Pan

Horizontal movement from a fixed location - Pivoting from left to right or vice versa.

"Pan left" or "Pan right"

Tilt

Vertical movement from a fixed location - Pivoting from up to down, or vice versa.

"Tilt up" or "Tilt down"

Zoom

Movement along the Z-axis from a fixed location - Changing the lens from wide angle to telephoto or vice versa.

"Zoom in" or "Zoom out"

Trucking/Tracking Shot

Horizontal camera movement. The entire camera and its support travels from right to left or vice versa.

"Truck left" or "Truck right"

Boom/Crane Shot

Vertical camera movement. The entire camera and its support is raised or lowered during the shot.

"Boom up" or "Boom down"

Dolly

Camera movement along the Z-axis. The camera and its support move toward or away from the horizon.

"Dolly in" or "Dolly out"

Shallow or Selective Focus

A shot, characterized by shallow depth of field, where only a specific area is in focus (foreground, middleground, or background). Used to direct the viewer's attention to a particular element or area of the shot.

With a zoom lens, this shot is most easily accomplished by zooming in fully to telephoto, and isolating a particular area by manually adjusting the focus.

Deep Focus

A shot, characterized by deep depth of field, where foreground, middleground, and background areas are all in apparent focus.

With a zoom lens, this shot is most easily accomplished by zooming out fully to wide angle, closing the aperture as much as possible, and focusing somewhere between foreground and background areas.

Rack Focus

Similar to Shallow/Selective focus. A shot, characterized by shallow depth of field, that begins with a specific area in focus (foreground, middleground, or background) and then changes focus to another area during the shot.

The Rack Focus is often used to reveal or direct the viewer's attention to an important subject or element in a shot.

Powerful/Weak Shot

A shooting angle significantly below or above the subject's eye level.

A high angle shot (where the camera is placed well above the eye level of the subject) is often used to make the subject seem weak, vulnerable, powerless, frail, etc.

A low angle shot (where the camera is placed well below the eye level of the subject) is often used to make the subject seem strong, dominant, powerful, imposing, etc.

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