Visual Narrative (Filmic Tropes & Language)


By considering a shot’s utility ,the image size, and the camera angles; it is according to what we want the audience to see (Exterior? backdrop? facial expression? etc). The composition of the shot and the size of an object in the frame is directly related to its importance in the story at that moment.

I added my own images with the explanation.

Very Long Shot

VLS=Very Long Shot: It normally shows an exterior, e.g. the outside of a building, or a landscape.There will be very little detail visible in the shot, as it is meant to give a general impression rather than specific information.

Long Shot

LS=Long Shot: Shows the entire object or human figure and is usually intended to place it in some relation to its surroundings.

Medium Long Shot

MLS=Medium Long Shot: Frames the subject a bit closer with the background. Body physical movement are more visible in this shot.

Medium Shot

MS=Medium Shot: This shot is good for smaller physical actions, posture, and facial expressions, yet maintains some connection with the background. However, the environment is no longer prominent since the viewer is now drawn closer to the subject.

Medium Close up

MCU=Medium Close up: Also called a “head and shoulders shot,” it emphasis on the subject’s facial expressions, but it also shows any physical “attitude” carried in the shoulders. This shot brings us into the personal space of a character.

Close up

CU=Close up: It is an intimate shot in emphasising the facial expressions.

Big Close up

BCU=Big Close up: This shot is a bit closer than close up, it presents a small detail or feature of the subject.

Extreme Close up

ECU=Extreme Close up: Extreme close ups are focused on a particular detail such as eyes, mouth, hands etc. This is normally used to create an abstraction.

Different camera angles gives unique view that can add emotion to the image or video, give a great impact on the audience.

High Camera Angle

High Camera Angle: Camera looks down on the subject from a high angle or an aerial view to present a vulnerable, subservient, confused and more childlike feeling. Beside to provide a bit wider look at the overall scene. It also called a quick cutaway (a quick jump from one shot to another) which will make the scene more action-packed and dramatic looking.

Medium Camera Angle

Medium Camera Angle: It is the most common shot and also called eye-level camera angle,the best used for straight, factual presentation.

Low Camera Angle

Low Camera Angle: A shot looking up at a character or subject often making them look bigger and powerful in the frame.


Michael.R (2016). Directing — Shot Size and Selection. Available: http://www.masteringfilm.com/directing-shot-size-and-selection/. Last accessed 10th Oct 2016

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