Camera Shots 301

Arc Shot – This is a shot in which the subject(s) is photographed by an encircling or moving camera, often used in horror films to suggest that something bad is about to happen.

Bird’s Eye Shot/View – This is a shot from far above, getting its name from the perspective that it’s taken from a bird’s vantage point. It is also sometimes called an Overhead Shot.

Bridging Shot – This is a transitional type of shot used to cover or ‘bridge’ a jump in time or place or other discontinuity.

Cut Away – This is a shot that’s usually of something other than the current action. The sequence will go: current action – Cut Away – current action, as a means to provide a “buffer” behind shots (to help the editing process) or to add interest/information.

Cut In – This is similar to a Cut Away Shot, but specifically refers to showing some part of the subject in detail. It can be purely an edit point, or to emphasize emotion, etc. For example, hand movements can show rage or poor health (shaking).

Dolly Shot – This is a shot where the camera is mounted on a dolly and follows the action (i.e., the camera itself moves). It is also known as a Tracking Shot. 

Dolly Zoom Shot – This is where the camera zooms in on the subject, but adjusting the zoom angle to keep the subject the same size in the frame.

Dutch Tilt Shot – This is a camera shot where the camera angle is deliberately slanted to one side. It’s often used for dramatic effect and to portray disorientation, uncertainty (common in horror films).

Following Shot – This shot follows the subject of action, usually keeping the following distance constant.

Panning Shot – This is a horizontal camera movement were the camera is stationary and moves left and right from a central place (i.e., the whole camera isn’t moving to following the action, which would be a dolly shot). It’s more common than a Tilt Shot because we naturally look from side to side.

Tilt Shot – This is a vertical camera movement where the camera is stationary.

Zoom Shot – This is where the camera zooms in or out on the subject.