Cinematography Elements to Use in Movie Projects

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Filmmaking is changing every day, and filmmakers find creative ways to make their movies appealing. There was much a cinematographer could learn in the past due to the equipment being manual. However, now the cameras are automated, and you do not need to adjust the settings.  Although there is the introduction of new equipment for filmmaking, the techniques to capture footage remain much similar to the past. To make a high-quality film, it is vital to know the essential elements for a movie project regardless of the budget.

The Essential Elements in Cinematography

Cinematography is an art, as you can learn from Mark Murphy Director of Photography. Here are some of the items to consider for your next movie project;


The element plays a significant role in movie production. It revolves around the camera features and settings to use during the filming. Cinematographers opt to set the parameters they require and do not rely on the automatic features in modern cameras for exposure. It entails setting the camera’s ISO, aperture, frame rate, and shutter speed.

The shutter speed and frame rate are vital to avoid blurriness during camera movement. Aperture controls the amount of light in the camera, and the ISO feature is important for clarity. You can learn about the various features and set them depending on the scene you want to capture.

Camera Movement

A cinematographer decides on using a static or moving camera for a particular scene. Nowadays, the filming equipment supports different camera movement types with tracks and cranes enhancing the art. The way a camera moves can impact the mood in a film. You can create a sense of uneasiness by zooming or moving towards an object.

On the other hand, panning is another technique to capture the audience. It is common to focus on items concurrently and want the viewer to see the scenes through the transition.

Shot Composition

Objects in a framing shot matter in filmmaking. It includes the items on focus and what is in the background. Shot composition is important, especially when watching on a large screen. As the characters in a movie scene move, it is vital to adjust the camera accordingly. You do not want the actor to be on the edge of the screen while leaving the entire space in the shot with nothing on focus.

On the other hand, a cinematographer knows how to use various shots to tell the story. A close-up can show a person’s emotions, while a medium shot is ideal for conversation. Consider objects in the surrounding, such as buildings, while capturing the long shots. A mix of the different shots is vital for movie production. So, use them creatively.


When filming, there are different ways to light the scene. You can use direct light to illuminate the object or character on focus. Since the main source of light will not be adequate, the sidelights are important for the details on the frame. Still, you can consider using lights from the back of an object depending on what you want to achieve.

The End

Apart from the above four elements in cinematography, the camera angle and picture colour are important for movie production.