Lenses, Composition & Camera Angles – Film/Photo Tutorial
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Lenses, Composition & Camera Angles – Film/Photo Tutorial

October 11, 2019

Hi. My name is Tom Antos
and today we’re going to talk about some basics when it comes to
camera angles and framing. The Full Shot or Full Body Shot includes the
feet in the frame. For this kind of a shot, remember to
never cut off just the feet. In fact, it’s a bad practice to cut off
your subject at the knees and below. It may look like you did it unintentionally
or by a mistake… like you can see here.
It also looks awkward when a person’s legs are cut off below the knees.
This, in fact, is not a rule by any means. In fact, I don’t think there are
any rules in film. But it is just a bad practice.
If you’re going to frame your subject like this, then you’d better have a good reason for it. Otherwise, it will just confuse your audience
and it will look like you simply don’t know
what you’re doing. So, for a full body shot, you should
stick to something like this. Next shot is a Medium Full Shot.
That’s when you go a bit closer and it’s usually also when you cut off your subject
somewhere between the knees and the waist. Once you frame above the waist area,
that’s called a Medium Shot. After that, we move in for a Close Shot.
That frames from around the breast area and up. And then this here is a Close-Up, which mainly frames just the subject’s head.
Once you move in even closer, where you start to cut off
the forehead or the chin, that’s usually referred to
as an Extreme Close-Up. Even if you move in to frame just the eyes,
for example. Now, what you have to remember is that
there is no standard by which to go when naming these shots.
These are simple the name that I use. There are others out there
that use different names. What’s important is that you know what type
of shots you want to get. So, when you’re planning your shots or
doing your storyboards, you always use the same names
for the shot types, so you don’t end up confusing yourself
later on down the road when you go back to look at your notes or
storyboards. Next, we’re going to talk about the types
of shots or angles, like Over-the-Shoulder or a Two-Shot.
These are most commonly used in a scene when two characters are talking to each other.
These shots refer more to the angle than what the exact framing is.
For example, you can have a close-up over-the-shoulder… or a medium over-the-shoulder
like you see here… and you can even go to a
full body over-the-shoulder. Same goes for the two-shot.
Here we have a full body two-shot. And then a medium two-shot. And then a close-up two-shot. Or you can also have, you know,
a three, four shot, depending how many characters you have in your shot.
Other shot types you might hear about are an Insert or Cut-Away,
which is, basically, a close-up on a part of a scene or
it could be a POV of one of the characters seeing a certain detail in that scene,
like we see here where one of the characters passes
the car keys to the other. Many times people ask me what size lenses
should they use to get, for example, a good medium shot.
And really, there is not one correct answer. The types of shots or the framing really have
nothing to do with the lens. For example, you can have a medium shot
that’s shot using a wide angle lens such as this 16mm Canon lens
that I’m using here. Or you can have a medium shot
that’s shot using a 50mm lens. Same if you use a 100mm… or even a 300mm telephoto lens. They all produce medium shots.
But of course, each of those lenses gives that shot a different look and effect.
The framing doesn’t change. It’s just the perspective.
So, remember that shot framing has nothing to do with the lens size. And the only way you’ll really know what
type of lens to use in your scenario is
once you’ve got a lot of experience going out there and filming.
You know, just trying out different types of lenses and experimenting. Then, afterwards, you should come home
and compare what kind of effects you got using various lenses on different types of shots.
Because there’s virtually an infinite amount of effects you can get
when you’re mixing up different types of framing, shot types, angles and lenses. For example, let’s take a close-up and do a few versions of it
and see what kind of effects we can get. If we were to use a mid-sized lens
such as this 50mm, then you would get something like this.
You know, an average looking shot. But, for example, if you were filming a comedy
and you wanted to show a person in a funny way, then it might be better to go in really close and use a wide-angle such as this 16mm lens, which will make your subject’s features
look a bit distorted or exaggerated. It’s not actually the lens that makes
your subject look that way but your relative position to the subject.
Basically, the closer you move to your subject, the more dramatic the perspective will be.
But obviously you have to use a wide-angle lens when shooting this close. Right now we’re about
two feet away from the subject. Now, if we were to use a 50mm lens
at that same distance, then the perspective doesn’t change,
but the framing obviously will, because we’re basically zooming in.
So, all you end up seeing is this. It would be the same if you look at this shot
that we got using the 16mm lens and then digitally zoomed in.
The only difference being that the depth of field would be the same as the 16mm lens.
And of course we end up loosing a lot of the resolution,
which is why we use different lenses. Or if you’re using a camera that doesn’t
have interchangeable lenses, then you would simply zoom in or zoom out.
Now, let’s take a look at a full body shot. To get it with a 16mm lens,
we have to move away from the subject a few feet.
If you were to move away from your subject to about two hundred fifty feet,
then this wide-angle might be good if you’re trying to get, let’s say,
a wide-shot of the location. Because your subject is so small that
it’s really hard even to see him. So, that’s when you want to use a long lens,
such as this 300mm, to basically zoom in. Now, when you’re this far away,
that’s when the subject will look more flat and less exaggerated,
since you’re seeing all the features from, pretty much, the same perspective.
It will also bring other surrounding objects, such as this mailbox
that we have there in the background, closer to our main subject.
Whereas, if we were closer and using, let’s say, a 50mm lens,
it looks like that mailbox is a lot farther away. They’re both the same types of shots – a full body shot,
but what changes now is our relative position to the subject.
And since with the 300mm lens we have to move away so much farther
and then zoom in optically, we end up also zooming in on the mailbox,
which is why it makes it look like it’s a lot closer to our subject than…
than, for example, you can see in this full body shot we got using a 50mm lens.
So, next time you’re wondering what lens you should use in your setting,
just simply go out there with your camera, test out different lenses, experiment
and above all, have fun. Because that’s really the best way to learn.
I hope this video helped to answer some of your questions and
I’ll see you guys later.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Great stuff, this is exactly what I have been looking for. You have earned a Subscriber. I like your accent too.

  2. If it can zoom in, then yes, actually you can. When he changes the lens on his camera, what he is changing is called the Focal Length, i.e. how zoomed in the image is. The effect is the same with the optical zoom on consumer camcorders.

  3. There are standard names for types of shots, they are as follows: Wide Shot/WS, Medium Wide Shot/MWS, Medium Shot/MS, Medium Close Up/MCU, Close Up/CU, Extreme Close Up/ExCU. These are textbook!

  4. Wow, there's a lot more technique that goes into filming a scene than I thought! I always wondered how top shot Hollywood movies get that "professional-cinematic" look instead of it looking like a student made film. This helped a lot, thank you!

  5. I am a fan of how you teach or suggest shots, positioning etc, but…you say "there are no standard in which to go, when naming these types of shots!" Sorry mate but that;s simply NOT true. You just used them, Over the shoulder shot (you called it) is called S.R.S Shot Reverse Shot. Created for Television back in the day.The rest are as you stated, M.S.. F.S. E.C.U. These ARE universal, have to be when working on film -TV sets so crews and various scripts can be understood at a glance.

  6. These tutorials are pure gold, I'm definitely buying your dvd and everyone else should too since you're giving us so much more knowledge for free! Thanks a lot man!

  7. No lenses only apply to DSLR (digital photography cameras that use interchangeable prime lenses) and digital film cameras such as the Red Epic, Arri Alexa, Black Magic etc.

  8. Thanks for the video, do you want to learn how to be a better photographer? Check out "MASTERING PHOTOGRAPHY IN SECONDS"f. It's all about techniques and creativities. Don't need expensive camera!

  9. bull shit, i bought a 600 dollar panasonic camera, for "beginners" and b&h told me it was very good,and it sucks nuts! I'm definitely buying a 1,200 dollar camera 

  10. Thanks Tom, you are the bomb. I have a Panasonic hvx 200a with a Letus  ultimate 35mm adapter with several interchangible lenses. does these techniques still apply?

  11. First of all thank you to boy who has so much patience to stay for so long in the freezing day. Boy you're a real actor now! 

  12. Hi Tom! I've watched many of your videos, and i plan to watch all of your tutorials cos they're all awesome! And Im pretty sure there are many people out there who really really appreciate what your'e doing here !
    One question for this video, when you shoot the full body shot, as shown in this video, what happens if you cover the top and bottom with the black box? Or i don't know what you call it, to make it cinematic or 16:9
    How do you frame your subject, knowing that in post production you will cover the top and bottom? Thanks =) !

  13. Thank you sir. I am currently a film and tv production student and I find your video, very helpful. Thank you once again, subscribed.

    Cheers from Singapore.

  14. Great into! I'm trying to use more professional filmmaking techniques in my travel videos and there are some great tips here. That shot difference at 6:15 was awesome to see, thanks!

  15. Thanks for your Tutorials Awesome , what kind of Microphone do you recommend for doing short film , close up /over shoulder shot and what kind of wireless microphone for distance ?

  16. A great video, description and explanation. I've been looking for examples with actual footage using the lenses for 30 or so minutes now. Thank you!

  17. tnks my freind for those informations well putted togother in a simple way i like what you said at the end about having fun at experementing wich is the best way to work i dont care that much for the type of the camera as long as you choose the right place the right face and the right angle wich it depend also of the the creativity of the person

    i wanna add another thing before i go the thing about the lenses and the framing i think it has a lot to do with feelings and that what make a good director for example the scene in raging bull when de niro took a beating from lamota it was framed in close up and with telephoto lense and that what made it powerful if scorcese missed the right lense the scene will never be as effectif as it is

    sorry for my english and thnks for the upload

  18. Sir What lens should i use with Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4K Digital Cinema Camera EF-Mount CINECAMURSAM40K/EF My budget is around $1500 USD

  19. Hey just a question,, for the full shot, when you switched between 50mm and 300mm lens in the end, did the subject had enough sharpness to look natural and focused when you used 300mm?

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