February 7, 2015

cinematography storytelling
This week we’re looking at the deeper meaning behind cinematography choices, starting with framing and composition.


Cinematography is so often seen as making pretty pictures. How to setup the camera and lights so that everything looks ‘cinematic’ and pleasing to our eyes.

The job of a cinematographer is far more creative than that.

Cinematography is the art of expressing the story visually, so this week we’re looking at some ways that we can using the placement of the camera and the composition of the shots to tell a story. How we can show the audience something new about a character, or direct their eyes to be looking exactly where we want them to.



lighting cinematiographyblog


PART 2: Going through lots of lighting setups, focusing on the way that we can use lighting to tell a story.


lenses blog


PART 3: How can we use lenses creatively? This week we’re looking at depth of field, focal length, field of view and aesthetics.



camera movement blog


PART 4: How can we use sliders, jibs and tripods creatively?



visual storytelling


VISUAL STORYTELLING: Looking at the ways we can tell a story visually, rather than always relying on dialogue to explain things.



This video is a great look at how hollywood cinema approaches establishing wides. The first half of the video is pretty much just helicopter shots of cities, but the rest of the video gets far more interesting.

I’ve been following Andrew Price for a few years now, he’s an absolute genius when it comes to Blender the free 3D graphics software. But that doesn’t even begin to explain the wealth of knowledge that Andrew has about the other aspects of visual storytelling and design. This video is a great summary of the basics principles of composition.

If you’ve got the time, this one is a great investment. It’s a little slow at points, but seeing a photographer go through the many different avenues that make up a great photo, with lots of examples is very worthwhile.


A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on

Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Rup Kumar BK

    your article is really interesting and worth reading Simon.

  • Gal Ziv

    I like the way you sketched on lighting, and equipment info together, that is the way. Thanks

  • DANTE S.K.

    One, problem. This morning I was thinking on a idea for a first short, but later on the day I started developing it and several hours on I thought this is gone be a very bad film with an even worst story. How do I develop a small scene or thought into a complete story? And how do I start with my first short.

    • funenuf

      Take some improv classes off to the side. It will teach you to tell stories with characters that have interesting relationships quickly. This is important, because it teaches you to let go of making any one idea too precious and trying to have the perfect story.

      • DANTE S.K.

        Ok, but where can I take some of those. Because I don’t have much money. So it would be ideal to look up for some free online source.