Camera Tips

Camera Sniper

camera-sniperThe target is seldom aware at this point that there's a camera scope on him, but the audience gets to see an indication of the watchful character(s) because we see a smartphone photography tricks which will Follow Shot of him walking, sleeping or just eating breakfast — in short, just living his day-to-day life.

The shot goes into Freeze Frame (and may also switch from color to black and white), and is accompanied by a camera shutter sound and a blink or iris in shot to indicate that whoever was watching has just taken a photograph of the person targeted. The scene then resumes otherwise unchanged as the target goes about his or her business. This may happen two or three times in the same scene when iphone camera tips indicating that there may later be a stack (or email) of photos presented to the watching entity's boss.

Expect the follow shot to be accompanied by cool iphone camera tricks and a camera's viewfinder reticule. Bonus Points if it's the old-style microprism viewfinder (usually either a split circle or a circle-within-a-circle, with the two parts shaded differently) that few under the age of 30 are likely to have ever actually seen in Real Life.

Black-and-white photography these days is rather rare in the age of digital cameras... but the sight and sound are pretty much iconic now, so it endures even as technology and the trope march forward.

Binocular Shot

binocular-shotIn which a character is looking at something in the distance through binoculars, and the viewer is treated to the POV of that character. Often "enhanced" by matting the screen with a double-circular frame, supposedly emulating the binocular experience. Indeed, this is so common that the more correct matting looks weirder.

More recently, this same shot is used with a matte frame and a tint that is reminiscent of looking through a sniper scope. Another variation has the character using extremely fancy binoculars with data overlays; thus transforming this into a variant of Robo Cam. Camcorder viewfinders are also common, for characters shooting video of each other.

It is also common for the viewer to first pan over the viewed object with  smartphone tricks and tips or person and then quickly move back onto viewing it. Sometimes the viewer can't believe what they saw, looks at it without the binoculars, then looks back at it through them.

The most common form is silly, since as long as the binoculars are aligned to the user's eyes correctly, the user sees a single circle through the binoculars, not two overlapping circles. Even if two overlapping circles are seen, they indeed mostly overlap rather than appearing side by side.

Alone in a Crowd

alone-in-crowdSomething has happened to The Hero. A shocking revelation, new information brought to light, revealing their best friend is a traitor or that nothing they did changed anything or maybe they can finally see the world the way it is. Or perhaps it's something even simpler, perhaps they just simply lose their idealism and plunge into a contemplation of existential meaninglessness. Or maybe they're just feeling alone and unloved in the world. They don't go into a Heroic B.S.O.D., they just simply stand there, as a crowd of people moves around them (sometimes in fast-forward, even further isolating them). They're simply alone in a crowd. Sometimes known as "calm in a chaotic world" if the crowd moves in fast-forward.

Astronomic Zoom

An Establishing Shot that includes a wild planet-scale or even galaxy-scale zoom—for example, showing Earth from space and then zooming in through the atmosphere to a single room/street, or zooming through galaxies to Earth.

Often used to convey a message like this: "The universe is big, and on this Insignificant Little Blue Planet, there is a totally unremarkable spot where..."

Steven Johnson called this "The Long Zoom" in a pre-release article on Spore, referring to it as the "defining view" of our era.

It is extremely common in documentaries about space, often zooming from the scale of entire galaxies being pixels big, until reach the scale of measly people. In a historical context—in films before the mid 2000's, when Google Earth became available, seeing this sort of zoom was a real novelty.

Fish-Eye Lens

fisheyeThe extremely wide-angle lens. Used to produce a sense of disorientation.

The lens in a door's peephole is a fish-eye, so this lens is used when a visitor is viewed outside an apartment

Also frequently used when shooting skateboarding and other extreme sports, as it can make big air look bigger from the appropriate angle.

Since less-expensive security camera set-ups are often fitted with wide-angle lenses to allow one camera to cover more area, the resulting footage may show a fisheye effect. Simulated security-camera footage, therefore, is also often shot with a fisheye.

Note that when seen in an animated format it is often a False Camera Effect with smartphone tricks and tips, although a technique for drawing this way exists independently and can be used for the same sense of disorientation.