5 Cinematography Tips That Will Help You Shoot Better Images

This week in Zeferino Professional Lighting we ask ourselves how well do our images tell our stories? We all know that cinematography is a hell of a lot more than turning your camera on and pointing it at stuff. It’s about lighting, camera movement, composition, and a host of other techniques and concepts that help bring your stories to life visually. If you want to add a bit more to your cinematographic repertoire, check out the following video from. It shows a ton of great insight to not only creating beautiful, cinematic images but also effectively applying aesthetic principles to tell more dynamic stories.

Though a lot of great tips are given in the video, these are the five key concepts:

Screen direction;

The direction in which your character moves on-screen, also called lateral movement is very important because it denotes progression or regression in the story. (Left to right indicates progression or “moving forward,” right to left indicates regression or “going back.”) So, it’s important to ensure your characters’ movement is consistent not only for continuity but for accurate storytelling as well.


Simple lighting;

Take advantage of available natural light by turning off all the lights on set to see where it’s pouring in.

Subject framing;

In the same way that lateral movement can indicate emotional and physical progression or regression. The framing of your subject can communicate a lot about your character’s emotional and physical journey.


Slow motion;

Slow motion looks cool, but make sure your decision to use it is intentional and serves the story.
Nailing it in-camera; Do not try to fix it in post. Not only is this a bad habit to get into as a filmmaker. But many times you won’t even be able to…and then you’re screwed. Try to make sure your images and scenes look as close to what the final product is going to be as possible.

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