Cinematography

Cinematography

Overview
Cinematography is the making of lighting
Stage lighting
Modern stage lighting is a flexible tool in the production of theatre, dance, opera and other performance arts. Several different types of stage lighting instruments are used in the pursuit of the various principles or goals of lighting. Stage lighting has grown considerably in recent years...

 and camera
Camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

 choices when recording photographic image
Image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

s for cinema
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

. It is closely related to the art of still photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

. Many additional technical difficulties and creative possibilities arise when the camera and elements of the scene may be in motion.

Cinematography is an art form unique to motion pictures
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

. Although the exposing of images on light-sensitive elements dates back to the early 19th century, motion pictures demanded a new form of photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 and new aesthetic techniques.

In the infancy of motion pictures, the cinematographer was usually also the director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 and the person physically handling the camera.
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Encyclopedia
Cinematography is the making of lighting
Stage lighting
Modern stage lighting is a flexible tool in the production of theatre, dance, opera and other performance arts. Several different types of stage lighting instruments are used in the pursuit of the various principles or goals of lighting. Stage lighting has grown considerably in recent years...

 and camera
Camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

 choices when recording photographic image
Image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

s for cinema
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

. It is closely related to the art of still photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

. Many additional technical difficulties and creative possibilities arise when the camera and elements of the scene may be in motion.

History


Cinematography is an art form unique to motion pictures
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

. Although the exposing of images on light-sensitive elements dates back to the early 19th century, motion pictures demanded a new form of photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 and new aesthetic techniques.

In the infancy of motion pictures, the cinematographer was usually also the director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 and the person physically handling the camera. As the art form and technology evolved, a separation between director and camera operator
Camera operator
A camera operator or cameraman is a professional operator of a film or video camera. In filmmaking, the leading cameraman is usually called a cinematographer, while a cameraman in a video production may be known as a television camera operator, video camera operator, or videographer, depending on...

 emerged. With the advent of artificial lighting and faster (more light sensitive) film stock
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

s, in addition to technological advancements in optics and new techniques such as color film and widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

, the technical aspects of cinematography necessitated a specialist in that area.

Cinematography was key during the silent movie
Silent Movie
Silent Movie is a 1976 satirical comedy film co-written, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks, and released by 20th Century Fox on June 17, 1976...

 era - no sound apart from background music
Background music
Although background music was by the end of the 20th century generally identified with Muzak or elevator music, there are several stages in the development of this concept.-Antecedents:...

, no dialogue - the films depended on lighting, acting and set.

In 1919, in Hollywood, the new motion picture capital of the world, one of the first (and still existing) trade societies was formed: the American Society of Cinematographers
American Society of Cinematographers
The American Society of Cinematographers is an educational, cultural, and professional organization. It is not a labor union, and it is not a guild. Membership is by invitation and is extended only to directors of photography and special effects experts with distinguished credits in the film...

 (ASC), which stood to recognize the cinematographer's contribution to the art and science of motion picture making. Similar trade associations have been established in other countries, too.

The ASC defines cinematography as
a creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than the simple recording of a physical event. Cinematography is not a subcategory of photography. Rather, photography is but one craft that the cinematographer uses in addition to other physical, organizational, managerial, interpretive and image-manipulating techniques to effect one coherent process.

Image Sensor/Film Stock


Cinematography can begin with rolls of film or a digital image sensor
Image sensor
An image sensor is a device that converts an optical image into an electronic signal. It is used mostly in digital cameras and other imaging devices...

. Advancements in film emulsion and grain structure provided a wide range of available film stock
Film stock
Film stock is photographic film on which filmmaking of motion pictures are shot and reproduced. The equivalent in television production is video tape.-1889–1899:...

s. The selection of a film stock was one of the first decisions made in preparing a typical 20th century film production.

Aside from the film gauge
Film gauge
Film gauge is a physical property of photographic or motion picture film stock which defines its width. Traditionally the major film gauges in usage are 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm, and 65/70 mm...

 selection — 8 mm
8 mm film
8 mm film is a motion picture film format in which the filmstrip is eight millimeters wide. It exists in two main versions: the original standard 8mm film, also known as regular 8 mm or Double 8 mm, and Super 8...

 (amateur), 16 mm (semi-professional), 35 mm (professional) and 65 mm (epic photography, rarely used except in special event venues) — the cinematographer has a selection of stocks in reversal (which, when developed, create a positive image) and negative formats along with a wide range of film speed
Film speed
Film speed is the measure of a photographic film's sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO system....

s (varying sensitivity to light) from ISO
Film speed
Film speed is the measure of a photographic film's sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO system....

 50 (slow, least sensitive to light) to 800 (very fast, extremely sensitive to light) and differing response to color (low saturation, high saturation) and contrast (varying levels between pure black (no exposure) and pure white (complete overexposure).

Advancements and adjustments to nearly all gauges of film created the "super" formats wherein the area of the film used to capture a single frame of an image is expanded, although the physical gauge of the film remains the same. Super 8 mm
Super 8 mm film
Super 8 mm film is a motion picture film format released in 1965 by Eastman Kodak as an improvement of the older "Double" or "Regular" 8 mm home movie format....

, Super 16 mm and Super 35 mm all utilize more of the overall film area for the image than their "regular" non-super counterparts.

The larger the film gauge, the higher the overall image resolution clarity and technical quality.

The techniques used by the film laboratory
Film laboratory
A film laboratory is a commercial service enterprise and technical facility for the film industry where specialists develop, print, and conform film material for classical film production and distribution which is based on film material, such as negative and positive, black and white and color, on...

 to process the film stock
Photographic processing
Photographic processing is the chemical means by which photographic film and paper is treated after photographic exposure to produce a negative or positive image...

 can also offer a considerable variance in the image produced. By controlling the temperature and varying the duration in which the film is soaked in the development chemicals and by skipping certain chemical processes (or partially skipping all of them), cinematographers can achieve very different looks from a single film stock in the laboratory. Some techniques that can be used are push processing
Push processing
Push processing in photography, sometimes called uprating, refers to a film developing technique that increases the effective sensitivity of the film being processed. Push processing involves developing the film for more time, possibly in combination with a higher temperature, than the...

, bleach bypass
Bleach bypass
Bleach bypass, also known as skip bleach or silver retention, is an optical effect which entails either the partial or complete skipping of the bleaching function during the processing of a color film. By doing this, the silver is retained in the emulsion along with the color dyes. The result is a...

 and cross processing
Cross processing
Cross processing is the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4...

.

21st century work mostly uses digital cinematography
Digital cinematography
Digital cinematography is the process of capturing motion pictures as digital images, rather than on film. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data. As digital technology has improved, this practice has become increasingly common...

 and has no film stocks, but the cameras themselves can be adjusted in ways that go far beyond the abilities of one particular film stock. They can provide varying degrees of color sensitivity, image contrast, light sensitivity and so on. One camera can achieve all the various looks of different emulsions, although it is heavily argued as to which method of capturing an image is the "best" method. Digital image adjustments (ISO, contrast etc.) are executed by estimating the same adjustments that would take place if actual film were in use, and are thus vulnerable to the cameras sensor designers perceptions of various film stocks and image adjustment parameters.

Filters


Filters, such as diffusion filters or color-effect filters, are also widely used to enhance mood or dramatic effects. Most photographic filters are made up of two pieces of optical glass glued together with some form of image or light manipulation material between the glass. In the case of color filters, there is often a translucent color medium pressed between two planes of optical glass. Color filters work by blocking out certain color wavelengths of light from reaching the film. With color film, this works very intuitively wherein a blue filter will cut down on the passage of red, orange and yellow light and create a blue tint on the film. In black-and-white photography, color filters are used somewhat counter intuitively; for instance a yellow filter, which cuts down on blue wavelengths of light, can be used to darken a daylight sky (by eliminating blue light from hitting the film, thus greatly underexposing the mostly blue sky), while not biasing most human flesh tone. Certain cinematographers, such as Christopher Doyle
Christopher Doyle
Christopher Doyle is a cinematographer. He has won the AFI Award for cinematography, the Cannes Technical Grand Prize, Golden Osella, the Golden Horse awards , and Hong Kong Film Award . Doyle is an affiliate of the Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers.-Biography:Doyle was born in Sydney,...

, are well known for their innovative use of filters. Filters can be used in front of the lens or, in some cases, behind the lens for different effects.

Lens


Lenses can be attached to the camera to give a certain look, feel, or effect by focus, color, etc.

As does the human eye
Human eye
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth...

, the camera creates perspective
Perspective
- Literally, in visual topics :* Perspective , the way in which objects appear to the eye.* Perspective , representing the effects of visual perspective in graphic arts- Metaphorically, in relation to cognitive topics :...

 and spatial relations with the rest of the world. However, unlike one's eye, a cinematographer can select different lenses for different purposes. Variation in focal length
Focal length
The focal length of an optical system is a measure of how strongly the system converges or diverges light. For an optical system in air, it is the distance over which initially collimated rays are brought to a focus...

 is one of the chief benefits. The focal length of the lens determines the angle of view
Angle of view
In photography, angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view....

 and, therefore, the field of view
Field of view
The field of view is the extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment....

. Cinematographers can choose from a range of wide angle
Wide Angle
Wide Angle is the debut studio album by British breakbeat trance producers Hybrid, and was re-released in 2000 as a double-CD edition entitled Wider Angle...

 lenses, "normal" lenses and long focus lenses, as well as macro lenses
Macro photography
Macrophotography is close-up photography, usually of very small subjects. Classically a macrophotograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative is greater than life size. However in modern use it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size...

 and other special effect lens systems such as borescope
Borescope
A borescope is an optical device consisting of a rigid or flexible tube with an eyepiece on one end, an objective lens on the other linked together by a relay optical system in between. The optical system is usually surrounded by optical fibers used for illumination of the remote object...

 lenses. Wide-angle lenses have short focal lengths and make spatial distances more obvious. A person in the distance is shown as much smaller while someone in the front will loom large. On the other hand, long focus lenses reduce such exaggerations, depicting far-off objects as seemingly close together and flattening perspective. The differences between the perspective rendering is actually not due to the focal length by itself, but by the distance between the subjects and the camera. Therefore, the use of different focal lengths in combination with different camera to subject distances creates these different rendering. Changing the focal length only while keeping the same camera position doesn't affect perspective but the angle of view only. A Zoom lens
Zoom lens
A zoom lens is a mechanical assembly of lens elements for which the focal length can be varied, as opposed to a fixed focal length lens...

 allows a camera operator to change their focal length within a shot or quickly between setups for shots. As prime lens
Prime lens
In film and photography, a prime lens is either a photographic lens whose focal length is fixed, as opposed to a zoom lens, or it is the primary lens in a combination lens system....

es offer greater optical quality and are "faster" (larger aperture openings, usable in less light) than zoom lenses, they are often employed in professional cinematography over zoom lenses. Certain scenes or even types of filmmaking, however, may require the use of zooms for speed or ease of use, as well as shots involving a zoom move.

As in other photography, the control of the exposed image is done in the lens with the control of the diaphragm aperture. For proper selection, the cinematographer needs that all lenses be engraved with T-Stop, not f-stop
F-number
In optics, the f-number of an optical system expresses the diameter of the entrance pupil in terms of the focal length of the lens; in simpler terms, the f-number is the focal length divided by the "effective" aperture diameter...

, so that the eventual light loss due to the glass doesn't affect the exposure control when setting it using the usual meters. The choice of the aperture also affects image quality (aberrations) and depth of field (see below).

Depth of field and focus



Focal length and diaphragm aperture affect the depth of field
Depth of field
In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, depth of field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image...

 of a scene — that is, how much the background, mid-ground and foreground will be rendered in "acceptable focus" (only one exact plane of the image is in precise focus) on the film or video target. Depth of field (not to be confused with depth of focus
Depth of focus
Depth of focus is a lens optics concept that measures the tolerance of placement of the image plane in relation to the lens...

) is determined by the aperture size and the focal distance. A large or deep depth of field is generated with a very small iris aperture and focusing on a point in the distance, whereas a shallow depth of field will be achieved with a large (open) iris aperture and focusing closer to the lens. Depth of field is also governed by the format size. If one considers the field of view and angle of view, the smaller the image is, the shorter the focal length should be, as to keep the same field of view. Then, the smaller the image is, the more depth of field is obtained, for the same field of view. Therefore, 70mm has less depth of field than 35mm for a given field of view, 16mm more than 35mm, and video cameras even more depth of field than 16mm. As videographers try to emulate the look of 35 mm film with digital cameras, this is one issue of frustration - excessive depth of field with digital cameras and using additional optical devices to reduce that depth of field.

In Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Many critics consider it the greatest American film of all time, especially for its innovative cinematography, music and narrative structure. Citizen Kane was Welles' first feature film...

(1941), cinematographer Gregg Toland
Gregg Toland
Gregg Toland, A.S.C. was an American cinematographer noted for his innovative use of lighting and techniques such as deep focus, an example of which can be found in his work on Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.-Career:...

 and director Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

 used tighter apertures to create very large depth of field in the scenes, often rendering every detail of the foreground and background of the sets in sharp focus. This practice is known as deep focus
Deep focus
Deep focus is a photographic and cinematographic technique using a large depth of field. Depth of field is the front-to-back range of focus in an image — that is, how much of it appears sharp and clear. Consequently, in deep focus the foreground, middle-ground and background are all in focus...

. Deep focus became a popular cinematographic device from the 1940s onwards in Hollywood. Today, the trend is for more shallow focus
Shallow focus
Shallow focus is a photographic and cinematographic technique incorporating a small depth of field. In shallow focus one plane of the image is in focus while the rest is out of focus. Shallow focus is typically used to emphasize one part of the image over another...

.

To change the plane of focus from one object or character to another within a shot is commonly known as a rack focus.

Aspect ratio and framing


The aspect ratio
Aspect ratio (image)
The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of the width of the image to its height, expressed as two numbers separated by a colon. That is, for an x:y aspect ratio, no matter how big or small the image is, if the width is divided into x units of equal length and the height is measured using this...

 of an image is the ratio of its width to its height. This can be expressed either as a ratio of 2 integers, such as 4:3, or in a decimal format, such as 1.33:1 or simply 1.33.

Different ratios provide different aesthetic effects. Standards for aspect ratio have varied significantly over time.

During the silent era, aspect ratios varied widely, from square 1:1, all the way up to the extreme widescreen 4:1 Polyvision
Polyvision
Polyvision was the name given to a specialized widescreen film format devised exclusively for the filming and projection of Abel Gance's 1927 film Napoleon. It involved the simultaneous projection of three reels of silent film arrayed in a horizontal row, making for a total aspect ratio of 4:1...

. However, from the 1910s, silent motion pictures generally settled on the ratio of 4:3 (1.33). The introduction of sound-on-film briefly narrowed the aspect ratio, to allow room for a sound stripe. In 1932 a new standard was introduced, the Academy ratio
Academy ratio
The Academy ratio of 1.375:1 is an aspect ratio of a frame of 35mm film when used with 4-perf pulldown. It was standardized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the standard film aspect ratio in 1932, although similar-sized ratios were used as early as 1928.The Academy ratio is...

 of 1.37, by means of thickening the frame line
Frame line
A frame line is the unused space that separates two adjacent images, or film frames, on the release print of a motion picture. They can vary in width; a 35 mm film with a 1.85:1 hard matte has a frame line approximately 8 millimeters high, whereas both a full frame negative and the anamorphic...

.

For years, mainstream cinematographers were limited to using the Academy ratio, but in the 1950s, thanks to the popularity of Cinerama
Cinerama
Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc. It is also the trademarked name for the corporation which was formed to market it...

, widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

 ratios were introduced in an effort to pull audiences back into the theater and away from their home television
History of television
The history of television records the work of numerous engineers and inventors in several countries over many decades. The fundamental principles of television were initially explored using electromechanical methods to scan, transmit and reproduce an image...

 sets. These new widescreen formats provided cinematographers a wider frame within which to compose their images.

Many different proprietary photographic systems were invented and utilized in the 1950s to create widescreen movies, but one dominates film today: the anamorphic process, which optically squeezes the image to photograph twice the horizontal area to the same size vertical as standard "spherical" lenses.

The first commonly used anamorphic format was CinemaScope
CinemaScope
CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

, which used a 2.35 aspect ratio, although it was originally 2.55. CinemaScope was used from 1953 to 1967, but due to technical flaws in the design and its ownership by Fox, several third-party companies, led by Panavision
Panavision
Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in cameras and lenses, based in Woodland Hills, California. Formed by Robert Gottschalk as a small partnership to create anamorphic projection lenses during the widescreen boom in the 1950s, Panavision expanded its product...

's technical improvements in the 1950s, now dominate the anamorphic cine lens market.

Changes to SMPTE
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE , founded in 1916 as the Society of Motion Picture Engineers or SMPE, is an international professional association, based in...

 projection standards altered the projected ratio from 2.35 to 2.39 in 1970, although this did not change anything regarding the photographic anamorphic standards; all changes in respect to the aspect ratio of anamorphic 35 mm photography are specific to camera or projector gate sizes, not the optical system.

After the "widescreen wars" of the 1950s, the motion-picture industry settled into 1.85 as a standard for theatrical projection in the United States and the United Kingdom. This is a cropped version of 1.37. Europe and Asia opted for 1.66 at first, although 1.85 has largely permeated these markets in recent decades. Certain "epic" or adventure movies utilized the anamorphic 2.39.

In the 1990s, with the advent of high-definition video
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

, television engineers created the 1.78 (16:9) ratio as a mathematical compromise between the theatrical standard of 1.85 and television's 1.33, as it was not practical to produce a traditional CRT television tube with a width of 1.85. Until that point, nothing had ever been originated in 1.78. Today, this is a standard for high-definition video and for widescreen television. Some cinema films are now shot using HDTV cameras.

Lighting


Light is necessary to create an image exposure on a frame of film or on a digital target (CCD, etc.). The art of lighting for cinematography goes far beyond basic exposure, however, into the essence of visual storytelling. Lighting contributes considerably to the emotional response an audience has watching a motion picture.
As once a director Sahin Michael Derun said " The difference between porn and erotica is the lighting", simply pointing out the importance of lighting in cinematography.

Camera movement


Cinematography can not only depict a moving subject but can use a camera, which represents the audience's viewpoint or perspective, that moves during the course of filming. This movement plays a considerable role in the emotional language of film images and the audience's emotional reaction to the action. Techniques range from the most basic movements of panning
Panning (camera)
In photography, panning refers to the horizontal movement or rotation of a still or video camera, or the scanning of a subject horizontally on video or a display device...

 (horizontal shift in viewpoint from a fixed position; like turning your head side-to-side) and tilting (vertical shift in viewpoint from a fixed position; like tipping your head back to look at the sky or down to look at the ground) to dollying (placing the camera on a moving platform to move it closer or farther from the subject), tracking
Tracking shot
In motion picture terminology, a tracking shot is a segment in which the camera is mounted on a camera dolly, a wheeled platform that is pushed on rails while the picture is being taken...

 (placing the camera on a moving platform to move it to the left or right), craning
Crane shot
In filmmaking and video production a crane shot is a shot taken by a camera on a crane. The most obvious uses are to view the actors from above or to move up and away from them, a common way of ending a movie. Some filmmakers like to have the camera on a boom arm just to make it easier to move...

 (moving the camera in a vertical position; being able to lift it off the ground as well as swing it side-to-side from a fixed base position), and combinations of the above.

Cameras have been mounted to nearly every imaginable form of transportation.

Most cameras can also be handheld, that is held in the hands of the camera operator who moves from one position to another while filming the action. Personal stabilizing platforms came into being in the late 1970s through the invention of Garrett Brown
Garrett Brown
Garrett Brown is an American cinematographer, best known as the inventor of the Steadicam. Brown's invention allows cameramen to film while walking without the normal shaking and jostles of a handheld camera...

, which became known as the Steadicam
Steadicam
A Steadicam is a stabilizing mount for a motion picture camera that mechanically isolates it from the operator's movement, allowing a smooth shot even when moving quickly over an uneven surface...

. The Steadicam is a body harness and stabilization arm that connects to the camera, supporting the camera while isolating it from the operator's body movements. After the Steadicam patent expired in the early 1990s, many other companies began manufacturing their concept of the personal camera stabilizer.

Special effects



The first special effects in the cinema were created while the film was being shot. These came to be known as "in-camera
In-camera effect
An in-camera effect is any special effect in a video or movie that is created solely by using techniques in and on the camera and/or its parts. The in-camera effect is defined by the fact that the effect exists on the original camera negative or video recording before it is sent to a lab or modified...

" effects. Later, optical
Optical printer
An optical printer is a device consisting of one or more film projectors mechanically linked to a movie camera. It allows filmmakers to re-photograph one or more strips of film...

 and digital effects
Digital compositing
Digital compositing is the process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image, typically for print, motion pictures or screen display...

 were developed so that editors and visual effects artists could more tightly control the process by manipulating the film in post-production
Post-production
Post-production is part of filmmaking and the video production process. It occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, radio programs, advertising, audio recordings, photography, and digital art...

.

For examples of many in-camera special effects, see the work of early filmmaker Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès
Georges Méliès , full name Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects...

.

Frame rate selection



Motion picture images are presented to an audience at a constant speed. In the theater it is 24 frames per second, in NTSC
NTSC
NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

 (US) Television it is 30 frames per second (29.97 to be exact), in PAL
PAL
PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line, is an analogue television colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in many countries. Other common analogue television systems are NTSC and SECAM. This page primarily discusses the PAL colour encoding system...

 (Europe) television it is 25 frames per second. This speed of presentation does not vary.

However, by varying the speed at which the image is captured, various effects can be created knowing that the faster or slower recorded image will be played at a constant speed.

For instance, time-lapse
Time-lapse
Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than that which will be used to play the sequence back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing...

 photography is created by exposing an image at an extremely slow rate. If a cinematographer sets a camera to expose one frame every minute for four hours, and then that footage is projected at 24 frames per second, a four hour event will take 10 seconds to present, and one can present the events of a whole day (24 hours) in just one minute.

The inverse of this, if an image is captured at speeds above that at which they will be presented, the effect is to greatly slow down (slow motion
Slow motion
Slow motion is an effect in film-making whereby time appears to be slowed down. It was invented by the Austrian priest August Musger....

) the image. If a cinematographer shoots a person diving into a pool at 96 frames per second, and that image is played back at 24 frames per second, the presentation will take 4 times as long as the actual event. Extreme slow motion, capturing many thousands of frames per second can present things normally invisible to the human eye
Human eye
The human eye is an organ which reacts to light for several purposes. As a conscious sense organ, the eye allows vision. Rod and cone cells in the retina allow conscious light perception and vision including color differentiation and the perception of depth...

, such as bullets in flight and shockwaves travelling through media, a potentially powerful cinematographical technique.

In motion pictures the manipulation of time and space is a considerable contributing factor to the narrative storytelling tools. Film editing
Film editing
Film editing is part of the creative post-production process of filmmaking. It involves the selection and combining of shots into sequences, and ultimately creating a finished motion picture. It is an art of storytelling...

 plays a much stronger role in this manipulation, but frame rate selection in the photography of the original action is also a contributing factor to altering time. For example, Modern times by Charles Chaplin was shot at "silent speed" (18 fps) but projected at "sound speed" (24 fps), which makes the slapstick action appear even more frenetic.

Speed ramping, or simply "ramping", is a process whereby the capture frame rate of the camera changes over time. For example, if in the course of 10 seconds of capture, the capture frame rate is adjusted from 60 frames per second to 24 frames per second, when played back at the standard film rate of 24 frames per second, a unique time-manipulation effect is achieved. For example, someone pushing a door open and walking out into the street would appear to start off in slow-motion, but in a few seconds later within the same shot the person would appear to walk in "realtime" (normal speed). The opposite speed-ramping is done in The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

when Neo re-enters the Matrix for the first time to see the Oracle. As he comes out of the warehouse "load-point", the camera zooms in to Neo at normal speed but as it gets closer to Neo's face, time seems to slow down, foreshadowing
Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing or adumbrating is a literary device in which an author indistinctly suggests certain plot developments that might come later in the story.-Repetitive designation and Chekhov's gun:...

 the manipulation of time itself within the Matrix later in the movie.

Role of the cinematographer


In the film industry, the cinematographer
Cinematographer
A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

is responsible for the technical aspects of the images (lighting, lens choices, composition, exposure, filtration, film selection), but works closely with the director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 to ensure that the artistic aesthetics are supporting the director's vision of the story being told. The cinematographers are the heads of the camera, grip
Grip (job)
In the U.S. and Canada, grips are lighting and rigging technicians in the filmmaking and video production industries. They constitute their own department on a film set and are directed by a key grip. Grips have two main functions...

 and lighting crew
Lighting technician
Lighting technicians are involved with rigging and controlling electric lights for art and entertainment venues or in video, television, or film production. In a theater production, lighting technicians work under the lighting designer and master electrician...

 on a set, and for this reason they are often called directors of photography or DPs.

Directors of photography make many creative and interpretive decisions during the course of their work, from pre-production to post-production, all of which affect the overall feel and look of the motion picture. Many of these decisions are similar to what a photographer needs to note when taking a picture: the cinematographer controls the film choice itself (from a range of available stocks with varying sensitivities to light and color), the selection of lens focal lengths, aperture exposure
Exposure (photography)
In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value and scene luminance over a specified area.In photographic jargon, an exposure...

 and focus. Cinematography, however, has a temporal aspect (see persistence of vision
Persistence of vision
Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by which an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina....

), unlike still photography, which is purely a single still image. It is also bulkier and more strenuous to deal with movie cameras, and it involves a more complex array of choices. As such a cinematographer often needs to work co-operatively with more people than does a photographer, who could frequently function as a single person. As a result, the cinematographer's job also includes personnel management and logistical organization.

Evolution of technology: new definitions


Traditionally the term "cinematography" referred to working with motion-picture film emulsion, but it is now largely synonymous with videography
Videography
Videography refers to the process of capturing moving images on electronic media even streaming media). The term includes methods of video production and post-production...

 and digital video due to the popularity of digital cinematography
Digital cinematography
Digital cinematography is the process of capturing motion pictures as digital images, rather than on film. Digital capture may occur on video tape, hard disks, flash memory, or other media which can record digital data. As digital technology has improved, this practice has become increasingly common...

.

Modern digital image processing
Image processing
In electrical engineering and computer science, image processing is any form of signal processing for which the input is an image, such as a photograph or video frame; the output of image processing may be either an image or, a set of characteristics or parameters related to the image...

 has also made it possible to radically modify pictures from how they were originally captured. This has allowed new disciplines to encroach on some of the choices that were once the cinematographer's exclusive domain.

See also


  • 3-D film
    3-D film
    A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

  • Cinematography section of the Movie Making Manual WikiBook
  • Cinematographer
    Cinematographer
    A cinematographer is one photographing with a motion picture camera . The title is generally equivalent to director of photography , used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image...

  • Special effect
    Special effect
    The illusions used in the film, television, theatre, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects ....

  • Academy Award for Best Cinematography
    Academy Award for Best Cinematography
    The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...

  • Digital cinema
    Digital cinema
    Digital cinema refers to the use of digital technology to distribute and project motion pictures. A movie can be distributed via hard drives, optical disks or satellite and projected using a digital projector instead of a conventional film projector...

  • Fictional film
    Fictional film
    Fictional film or narrative film is film that tells a fictional story or narrative. Narrative cinema is usually contrasted to films that present information, such as a nature documentary, as well as to some experimental films...

  • Film crew
    Film crew
    Television crew positions are derived from those of film crew positions.A film crew is a group of people hired by a production company for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. Crew are distinguished from cast, the Actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for...

  • Filmmaking
    Filmmaking
    Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

  • Film theory
    Film theory
    Film theory is an academic discipline that aims to explore the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for understanding film's relationship to reality, the other arts, individual viewers, and society at large...

  • History of cinema
  • List of film formats
  • List of film techniques
  • List of motion picture-related topics (Extensive alphabetical listing and glossary).
  • List of video-related topics
  • Photographic film
    Photographic film
    Photographic film is a sheet of plastic coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive silver halide salts with variable crystal sizes that determine the sensitivity, contrast and resolution of the film...

  • Films about cinematography:
    • Visions of Light
      Visions of Light
      Visions of Light is a 1992 documentary film directed by Arnold Glassman, Todd McCarthy, and Stuart Samuels. The film is also known as Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography....

      (1993)
    • Cinematographer Style
      Cinematographer Style
      Cinematographer Style is a 2006 documentary by Jon Fauer, ASC, about the art of cinematography. In it, he interviews some 110 cinematographers from around the world, asking them about their influences and how they create the cinematographic style they do...

      (2006)

External links