Cinematography is an
art of motion-picture photography which involves techniques of movie
photography which include shooting and processing of image through recording of
light or through image sensor. This technique was first discovered by Auguste
and Louis Lumiere between 1862 and 1864. Those brothers were born in Besancon,
France and they went to La Martiniere, a technical school in Lyon in 1870. They
developed passion in cinematography as a result of their experiences from
working with their father in his photographic firm (Goodridge and Grierson, 2012). During that time, Louis
experimented with still-photographs, which contributed to the idea of overall
invention of motion pictures. Film production companies started to be were
first established in the 1890s. The Charles Beseler Company which was initially
formed in 1868 manufactured several appliances for use in both the optical and
medical fields. Its products were mostly for museum use and included dissolving
stereopticons, magic lanterns, lanternslides. The company still exists and it
is highly regarded for its high quality and lengthy performance.
There are differences
between photography and cinematography. One of the reasons is that one shot can
be complete on its own, while a cinematography deals with a wide range of shots
and how they relate. Another deviation between the two is that, cinematography
is more collaborative compared to photography. This is because a
cinematographer works with a team of fellow experts, who include; the director,
the producer, actors among other technicians. On the other hand, photography is
a single man’s job and thus there is less collaboration required.
On April 7, 1890,
there was a presentation that took place in New York City, and it was with a
Tachyscope. The event was reported to be a public projection of motion picture
and only the reporters witnessed motion of the pictures. The event got documented
and it featured on a couple of daily newspapers including Sun and World, among
other weekly newspapers. Prior to production of their first film, the Lumiere
brothers also discovered Auto-chrome process which involved a special technique
of coloring film through adding extra colors. This triggered the application of
subtractive color film in the 1930s. After invention of this picture
technology, many invested in the photography production and further increased
the demand for use of color in photography (Lunde
and Noverr, 1989)
Over the course of
years, the film industry has witnessed cinematography through certain
techniques such as; lighting of the location, the choice of cameras, camera
lenses, filters, and use of light sensitive material such as film stock. The
following is an insight on the aspects to focus on in cinematography;
stock- during photography, it is vital to consider the nature of the
photographic film you use. (Fast film stock achieves grainy look). You may also
consider the use of colors as symbols since some colors are associated with
of motion- the normal speed (24 frames in a second for a sound film, while 16
frame for silent film). You may also consider slow motion, freeze frame,
accelerated motion or time-lapse
these are attached to the camera in order to produce a certain appearance. There
are a variety of lens a cinematographer can choose from, ranging from normal,
distorting lens, wide angle, telephoto, macro and zoom. Normally, the angle of
view is determined by the focal length of the lens and, therefore, view-point.
Wide-angle lenses make spatial distances more obvious because they have short
focal lengths. On the contrary, zoom lenses reduce overstatements, and depict
far objects to see close-by and provides a flat perspective. The changes in the
perspective are not as a result of focal length but due to the object distance
(distance between the camera and the subjects).
effects- first special effects are created as the film is being recorded, which
are also referred to as ‘in-camera’ effects. These could be the
computer-generated images, glass shot or superimposition. Optical and digital
effects are developed so that the artists handling visual effects and editors
could participate in the manipulation process of post-production.
these features are used to boost dramatic effects. They include diffusion
filters or color filters. Most filters available in photography are made as a
result of manipulation of the material glued between the optical glasses. Color
filters have a translucent color medium embedded between the two optical
glasses. They work through blocking of some color wavelengths of light so as
not to reach the film.
exposure- this technique was discovered by George Albert in July 1898. The
ghost effect trick was achieved through spreading in black velvet after the
main action had been recorded, and then re-introducing the actor to play as a ghost
and proceeding with actions.
Camera /framing- there are some
adjustments that are required on the camera in order to achieve the desired shot
(Swartz, 2005). Such adjustments include;
the director of photography should be able to adjust the camera depending on
the desired image. It could be high angle shot, low angle shot, eye level shot,
oblique angle shot and extreme angle.
the cinematographer will adjust the distance depending on the power of the lens
and the size of the image required. From adjusting you could have close-up,
medium shot, and long shot.
cinematographer understands how camera movements function and the information
they provide about the space of the image. You could take various shots like
panning shot, tracking shot, and below/in/out/circular; zoom in/out, slow/fast;
tilt shot, handheld camera or camera on vehicle. This movement plays a major
role in the emotional response of the film images and also the message conveyed
from the audience’s emotional reaction.
the art of lighting in cinematography contributes to the emotional response of
an audience. Light is required in creating an image exposure on film’s frame.
of shot- the cinematographer is able to come up with a shot-counter shot,
flashback shot or insert shot.
there were periods of big money, mega-spending and special effects in cinemas.
For the better part of it, the attendance of cinemas was high at multi-screen theaters
throughout the United States. By the year 1998, the average budget for film
production shifted from an average of $53 million to over $100 million (S?la?pentoh
and S?la?pentoh, 1993). Average cost of
film ticket varied from $ 4.25 and $ 5 by the close of that decade. In 1996,
there was first public HDTV broadcast which led to higher resolution and
improved the sharpness and detail of the image. In 1997, there was introduction
of DVDs (digital video disks) which featured sharper resolution pictures and
improved quality and durability compared to videotapes.
called director of photography (DP) is in-charge of making vital decisions
regarding the look and feel of the movie. There are several
questions that the DP has to deal with and will require assistance from the
team to arrive at a decision. For instance, there will be questions on whether
there is going to be color or it’s black and white. If the color is used, is it
going to be vibrant and saturated or faded and dull? The director and the
cinematographer should work hand in hand in order to ensure efficiency. The
role of cinematography consists involves sparking emotions of delight, humor,
sadness, and fear through the mastery of a cinematic syntax that has been
developed throughout the century.
cinema technologies have been boosted through the adoption of angles, short sizes
and movements, which are the key to exceptional camerawork, which, combined
with lighting enhance emotions. These days it is quite an exciting task to work
in a film and television industry. Such achievements have been achieved as a
result of emergence of multiple delivery platforms, availability of high
quality tools and a wide variety of media and entertainment viewing options.
Through experimentation, the students are now able to explore the role and
transformative potential of technologies upon delivery of moving picture
content. The Bachelors of Science program in Cinema, Television and Media
production helps students develop visual storytelling techniques that captivate
audiences with effective and engaging content. During the first year of study,
students craft their own digital stories in a large multi-television studio
with latest equipment and technology. This helps students’ gain deeper
understanding of media aesthetics and production techniques through coursework
in film. After obtaining the required experience, the faculty helps in
translating their ideas into reality through small and large scale productions.
Emergence of new
technological ideas and the ever-changing effects of convergence are
interfering with the way consumers get audio-visual content. This has brought about
uncertainties to business planning, mostly regarding demand as expected. This therefore
shows that there is need to ensure we take caution in regard to having neutral
approach when it comes to technology and when regulating the application of
competition law. There have been investigative reports by journalists which
have been boosted by the enhancement of technology.