Different camera shot types are used in photography and filmmaking and they represent a common language for screenwriters, camera operators, and cinematographers.
Camera shots communicate visual elements of a particular scene, focusing on the size of a subject within the frame.
There are many ways to frame subjects – we can see their entire body or perhaps only their eyes. We can break this down into three main shot sizes: Long, Medium, and Close.
In this brief guide, we’ll cover long shots (wide shots) that show the subject from a distance and medium shots that put emphasis on the subject while still showing some of the surroundings.
1. Extreme Long Shot
Extreme long shot (aka extreme wide shot) is often used in movies as a strong opening scene or as an introductory scene for a new setting. This shot is used to show the subject from a distance while focusing on the area in which the scene is taking place.
This type of shot is indispensable because it plays the part of an establishing shot in terms of time and place, which is vital in storytelling. An extreme long shot can also depict a character’s physical or emotional relationship to the surroundings.
It’s also important to note that subject doesn’t have to be present in extreme long shot – it can be a pristine landscape.