Photography in cinema: this is very important in the world of cinema. In this post by we will briefly see what the art of cinematographic photography consists of and why it is important in this sector. In fact , who knows how many of us, at the end of a film, have read in passing between the credits “Photography by …” and we ask ourselves a question: but photography in what sense? But then let’s move on. After all, what counts in a film is the skill of the actors, the skill of the director, the costumes, if they are important, and the make-up.

But a film would not be a film without the art of photography lent to directing.

Sometimes it is the director himself who takes care of the photography, other times he makes use of professionals who go ahead, study places, light and shadows, best times for shooting , best times for viewing landscapes and bring all this knowledge to the director.

It will be him, then, based on these indications to set the day or evening scenes at certain points .

How does photography work in cinema? Let’s see it better in the following lines!

Photography, the backbone of cinema

What is photography in cinema for?

Photography must determine lighting, color of objects, shape of objects and environments, all with reference to the shots offered by the cameras and the format of each frame. It is not the classic photography that we all mean, it is not a snap and go, but a real work of study and test, before giving an OK to the director.

Usually it is the Director of Photography who coordinates the work of all the assistants on the set and before the assembly of the same. Because photography must also study the outdoor scenes , before the great cinema machine takes off. As for the interiors , the photographer has to build natural daylight lights even if the studio is dark, or reproduce a moonlight that enters the window even if it is sunny outside! He must also study the effect of lights on faces, props, close or panoramic shots.

The basic rules of cinema photography

Cinema photography must always take into account:

  • the photographic formats of the film (or digital);
  • the camera and the use of filters or quick movements;
  • lighting, which is the main task of the photographer;
  • the panoramic point of view or of the protagonist;
  • the angle of view;
  • the shooting distance (close-up, American shot, panorama);
  • the shot, that is to say everything that is seen and how it is seen;
  • the depth and sharpness of the image;
  • focus;
  • color correction;

Camera operators collaborate with set photographers to create these conditions and others in order to make the most of the naturalness of a scene.

Recreate a reality that is not there

Cinema photographers must be able to reproduce a reality that is not always there .

For example, in disaster or war films, when it is sometimes impossible to reproduce a bombing or a tornado with external means, the photographer will have to reproduce the environment – city or nature – in small , and play with lights and effects on that model.

The skill with which the photographer will position the headlights, and the distance with which he will shoot the model city and the fake dramatic effect will make the scene gigantic in the eyes of the spectators , who will be able to tremble with fear seeing skyscrapers fall that in reality they areā€¦. as tall as a finger!