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Extreme long shot (ELS)

The subject or characters are very much to the background of the shot. Surroundings now have as much if not more importance, especially if the shot is in high-angle. A first way to consider these shots is to say that a shot lends itself to a greater or lesser readability dependent on its type or length.

As the camera moves further away from the main subject (whether person or object) the visual field lends itself to an increasingly more complex reading - in terms of the relationship between the main subject and the decor there is more for the spectator's eye to read or decode. This means that the closer up the shot, the more the spectator's eye is directed by the camera to the specified reading.

Shots can have a subjective or objective value; the closer the inflection, the more subjective its value, the more the meaning is written through the inflection; on the contrary, the longer the distance of the shot, the more objective its value, the greater the participation of the viewer or reader in writing the meaning. other factors affect the legibility of a shot. A high or low camera angle can denaturalize a shot or strengthen its symbolic value.

For example, an Extreme Long Shot is a high angle shot. This automatically suggests the presence of someone looking, thus the shot is implicitly a point of view shot. In this way some of the objective value or openness of that shot, (which it would retain if angled horizontally at 90 degrees) is taken away, the shot is no longer 'naturally' objective. The shot is still open to a greater reading than a CUC, however; although the angle imposes a preferred reading (someone is looking down from on high).

Contrasting examples of low and high angle CU may come in handy here to illustrate what is meant by reinforcing symbolic value. The first type of shot will distort the subject in the frame, making it uglier, more threatening, more ridiculous; on the contrary, when a high angle CU is used, the object may appear more vulnerable, desirable.

Latest Updates on Dec 24, 2021