Shot Sizes: The Extreme Close-Up


An extreme close-up showing a detail of a synthesizer.
An extreme close-up showing a detail of a synthesizer. (Image by Peter Gorges)

When you look at objects around you, you actually see them in tunnel vision, focusing on just one detail at a time. As you are reading this, you are probably unaware of the surroundings of this text. To simulate this on television, you need extreme close-up shots.

What exactly is an extreme close-up and what separates it from a normal close-up shot? Most people think a shot is extreme close-up when the camera is extremely close to the subject. This, however doesn't define an extreme close-up.

An extreme close-up is different from a close-up in that in shows only one detail of your subject. A single word on a sign. A ring on someones hand.

The extreme close-up is very effective and it is the equivalent of taking your viewer's face, and hold it against your subject so it's impossible to miss the message you're trying to convey.

Though this may sound absurd, it is very important that you become comfortable filming extreme close-ups. You'll always make your editor happy with them.

About the author
Joseph de Meij

I am Joseph de Meij, 25 years old and I am a freelance cameraman who loves to travel. I'm currently trying to find different ways to overcome my toxic career syndrome and find out what my goals are in life.

This article was first published at www.askthecameraman.net.

Your Comments


Add Your Comment:

Your name:

Website:

Comment:



More Camerawork

Shot Size Variation And View Direction

March 25 2011

Every object has a view direction, persons, signs, houses and even rocks. It is important that the view direction is maintained when cutting shots of different sizes after each other.

How To Avoid Audio Jump Cuts

February 26 2011

Just as important to make sure the pictures you film are cuttable, you also need to make sure the sound is continuous.

Providing Cutting Points For The Editor

February 26 2011

If you want to make your editor happy, you need to create places in your footage where he can make cuts. It will make editing so much easier and the end result so much better if you think about editing while filming.

A moving shot: performing clean A to B movements

February 17 2011

A good moving shot is performed in such a way that it does not draw the audience's attention to the camerawork. When you are filming, you have to plan every shot you make before pressing the record button. Planning a moving shot means you'll actually have to plan two shots: the A-shot and the B-shot.

Creating Useful B-roll Footage

February 10 2011

The B-roll refers to supplemental or alternate footage that is used to intercut with the main shot in an interview or documentary. You need this footage to get out of any tricky editorial situation, and to cover long, visually uninteresting interviews.


Popular

The 7 Steps To Becoming A Professional Cameraman

February 10 2011

Television has continued to hold it's ground and collaborated with the World Wide Web in order to take a huge leap into the virtual world too. This has opened up even more doors for cameramen who wish to enter into the broadcast television industry.

Why Are We Still Filming In Framerates Designed In The 1920's?

March 13 2011

The frame and field rates that have been used for television since the 1920s cause problems for motion portrayal, which are increasingly evident on the large, high-resolution television displays that are now common.

Deciding On Which Camera To Use For Your First Documentary

March 1 2011

Choosing the right camera to film your documentary can be quite a difficult task. But it's also a very important one, so i've made this list of things to consider when buying the camera for your documentary.

How To Use Shot Pacing To Tell A Story More Effectively

February 27 2011

The job of an editor is to cut an item to a fraction of the original running time of the footage. The editor will have to match two rhythms: the rate of shot changes, and the continuity of the action that is captured.

How To Avoid Audio Jump Cuts

February 26 2011

Just as important to make sure the pictures you film are cuttable, you also need to make sure the sound is continuous.

Random stuff