Types of Shot in Photography According to Distance

Anyone who has a camera can take pictures. It doesn’t really matter if you have an education about photography or have not. However, it is still better to learn (even the basics) the things about photography in order for us to have better quality pictures that we can share to others. Because of that, I wanted to share the types of shot in photography according to distance and the uses of each of these shots.

There are three types of shot according to distance. These are the Long Shot (LS) or some call it Wide Shot (WS), Medium Shot (MS), and Close up Shot (CS).

Wide shot is a type of shot that includes almost everything that we wanted to show. It is the general view of a scene. It is usually used to establish the scene by answering the question “where are you”. That’s why when we are watching movies, a building is shown first before a person talking inside that building. Film makers wanted to tell the viewers that the person talking is within that building.

Long shot is usually used in landscape photography. This is of course because photographers wanted to show almost everything in the scene of landscapes.

Let’s go then to a shot that shows some part of a general view – the Medium shot. After establishing the scene, it’s now time to capture those parts of that scene a bit closer. We can now show people, trees, plants, or any interesting subjects in that particular scene.

After showing the general view and some parts of a scene, it’s now time to capture the details by getting close up shots. When you took a photo of a plant for example, you can also capture its leaves or stems to get the details of that plant.

Close up shots also make us see things closer than how we normally see them. We may pass by a flower in a path way and do not mind it at all. But once photographed in a close up shot, the flower then shows its real beauty that we can appreciate.

Knowing those types of shots according to distance will then guide us in photographing things. In documenting a birthday party for example, it is better to shoot first a wide shot of the place where the event will be held (it’s better to take several shots of at least three). After taking that wide shot, it’s now time to go inside that house and take medium shots of people in the party. It’s also good to take close up shots of details of the house, candles, peoples’ emotion, etc.

In English subject, there is what we call the inductive reasoning which takes the reasoning from general to specific. In the same manner, in documenting events, it is better to start from a wide shot (general view) to medium shots and close up shots (specific). It is also good to take various shots of wide, medium, and close up to show variety of shots in the photo album.