Basics to Advance of Cinematography

Education News | Aug-24-2020

Basics to Advance of Cinematography

In this lockdown watching movies, series, animations, or moving pictures is the only way to break our boredom. Different types of lighting, sound, and color really attract us. But we never really try to find out what it takes to shoot a good motion-picture?

The Art or Science of motion-picture photography is termed as Cinematography. The Director of Photography or DOP is the second most powerful creative person on set after Director. The main role of the Director includes directing the film and bring a story to life.

There are three stages of Production, i.e., Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production. DOP looks and manages several production departments.

  • Cameras and Lenses: There are different types of cameras and lenses available. One could easily choose according to his/her purpose, need, scene, and budget. For instance, We would be requiring different cameras and lenses for Wildlife photography and for Fashion photography. Prime lenses are mostly used in the film industry. They have fixed focal length whereas zoom lenses have a variable focal length. Both camera and lenses are the basic and the most important equipment for Cinematography.
  • Camera settings: The cinematographer must know all the scenes and must set his/her camera and shoot timings accordingly. One should have a basic knowledge of focal length, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (Image sensitivity Optimization) and must customize it according to the morning or night scene.
  • Camera Movements: After setting the camera with a suitable lens, It’s time to think about the scene and ask yourself how will you move the camera along with the actor? For that, you need to understand the basic camera movements, i.e. Pan Movement, Tilt Movement, Zoom Movement, Dolly, Trucking, Pedestal Movement. These movements help the cinematographer and camera crew to shoot any scene precisely and with more details.


There are many types of lights but according to cinematography purpose, One should be familiar with both natural and man-made. Fluorescent, Tungsten, LED are some of the artificial lights whereas, Sunlight is the natural light.

Three-Point Lighting
This is the standard lighting set up for video production purposes. The set up involves Key Light which is to be placed at the front left side. This throws light directly at the subject. In order to fill the character or subject with soft light, we need Fill Light which is to be placed at the right to the key light. To separate the subject from the background, we need a backlight. As the name suggested, the backlight is placed at the back of the subject. It also removes shadow.

Other Important Tips for budding cinematographers:

  • Use color.
  • Use proper sound and sound effects
  • Try different camera angles along with camera movements.
  • Use different compositions in photography.
  • Make videos/photos attractive and meaningful.
  • Engage with other departments too like editors, sound engineers, etc. 

By- Sakshi Bhardwaj