A medium close-up shot is typically a shot taken from the chest up. It’s also called an over-the-shoulder shot, which can be used to emphasize the importance of what another person or thing is doing in relation to the subject.

The term “close-up” itself refers to any type of camera angle that zooms in on something and shows it as clearly as possible, which means that this particular type of shooting style is actually part of a larger family.

However, there are some important distinctions between this kind and other types like extreme close-ups or low angles.

For one thing, the main focus here tends to be on details rather than capturing broad perspectives or large areas – although they can sometimes do both.



What Is Medium Close-Up Shot?

A medium close up shot is the middle ground when it comes to camera shots. It’s neither a long-distance shot nor a tight, detailed one.

The subject of this type of shot is usually the person who will be speaking in an interview or other dialogue scene.



Medium Close-Up Shot Definition

A medium close-up shot is a type of camera angle used in film and photography that captures an object from approximately two feet away.

This type of shot can be used to show off detail or to create the feeling of intimacy between the viewer and what they are looking at.

The definition of a medium close-up shot is an image taken with the camera positioned at about 2 feet from its subject. This type of photo has many different uses, including capturing detail and emotion.

Here’s our video guide to the close-up shot:

What Is A Medium Close-Up Shot?

This type of shot provides more detail than a close-up, but less detail than an extreme close-up or full-body shot.

A medium close-up shot is a type of camera angle that zooms in on the subject, but not as much as a close-up. It’s usually zoomed in to about half body length.

The purpose of this type of shot would be for details such as facial expressions and reactions, or it could be used to emphasize an object that the character is looking at.


Why Do Directors Use Medium Close-Up Shots?

The use of these shots varies depending on what you want to say with them.

For example, if we wanted to show someone’s face but not their whole body then we might use a medium close-up shot as opposed to extreme close-ups or headshots.

What is the point of a medium close-up shot?

To put it simply, directors use this type of shot to focus on one actor’s face.

These shots are typically used when the director wants to highlight an emotional response from the subject or just show what they are thinking.

Medium close-ups can also create tension by showing facial expressions that may not be evident from other camera angles.

Directors use medium close-up shots to create a sense of intimacy between the viewer and the actor.

These types of shots are often used for dramatic or emotional scenes, such as when an actor is about to be killed off in a show.

Medium close-ups also tend to be used in films that involve conversations because it allows viewers to see both people’s faces while they talk.

Directors use the medium close-up shot for many different reasons. The most common reason is to show a character’s emotional state.

When a director wants to show an actor or actress expressing their deepest thoughts, they will often use this type of camera angle.

Medium close-ups are also used much like establishing shots in that it sets the mood and tone of what will happen next in the film.

Directors may also use them as transitions between scenes, to provide time for actors to change costumes, or even just because they’re visually interesting!


The Power Of The Close-Up

The power of the close-up is undeniable. In the world of film, it’s a very common shot that you see over and over again. It can be used to have someone talk or explain something in detail, or just as an aesthetic way to capture a mood.

A portrait allows us to see every detail and imperfection on someone’s face, which can give clues about who they are as a person or what their personality may be like.

It’s been said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. And when it comes to close-ups of the human face, they can be worth so much more than that.

A well-captured and compelling close-up photo can convey emotion in an instant or elicit feelings of nostalgia for those who may have seen themselves in your subject’s eyes.

The power of the close-up has long been recognized by photographers such as:

  • Diane Arbus,
  • Helmut Newton, and
  • Annie Leibovitz.

But today we are seeing new faces emerge on social media with their own styles and techniques which are just as powerful if not more so than their predecessors.

The Medium Shot

The Medium Shot is a cinematic technique that features the protagonist in an environment.

We are introduced to the character as they interact with their surroundings, and we get a sense of who they are and what their place is in this world.


This technique can be used for both narrative and documentary filmmaking.

The medium shot is one of the most popular shots in filmmaking.

This is because it can be used for any type of scene, and when paired with a close-up shot, it can create incredible drama.

In film, the medium shot is a camera angle that is between wide and close-up. It is typically filmed from around seven to fourteen feet away from the subject.

A medium shot can be used for many different purposes but it often captures more of a scene than a close-up or wide shot would.

A medium shot is an important figure in cinematography. It’s a camera angle that draws the viewer into the scene by seeing it from the perspective of someone who would be in the scene.

The medium shot usually includes a person or people, and they are often framed so their faces are visible and they take up most of the frame.

The Medium-Long Shot

One of the most common mistakes that filmmakers make is using shots that are too long. When a scene becomes static, audiences lose interest and get bored quickly.

A medium-long shot is often used for establishing shots, or to show the action in detail without cutting away again and again.

The Medium-Long Shot – sometimes called a Full Frame Shot or an Establishing Shot – is one of the most common shots in the film, and might be seen at the beginning of movies to set up the story.

The long-shot is a cinematic technique often used to show the environment, setting, and/or context of a scene. The long shot can be defined as anything that is at least 10 feet away from the camera and has no close-up shots.

A medium shot might be 8-10 feet away from the camera with some depth of field but not enough to include any character details (eyes, nose).

How Roger Deakins Lights His Medium Shots

Roger Deakins is one of the most well-known cinematographers in Hollywood today. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three of them.

He also won a BAFTA Award for his work on “Skyfall”. One thing that sets him apart from other cinematographers is his use of light.

Deakins lights all medium shots with just two sources: an overhead spotlight and a downlight shining up at 45 degrees to create modeling or “shadows” on the face.

This technique creates a sense of intimacy between the subject and viewer as if you are looking into their soul through their eyes.

Even though it is not the most complicated of shots to light, an interview with cinematographer Roger Deakins provides some insight into how he executes this shot.

“I like to use a single source that’s quite high and strong”, says Deakin about his medium-shot lighting technique. “And I backlight subjects with what we call ‘edge’ lights.”


Deakins also stresses the importance of balancing the ambient light in order to have a more cinematic effect.

The first thing that any cinematographer should learn is how to light a medium shot. If you don’t know how to do this, then the rest of your work will be much harder and less satisfying.

There are a number of things that can affect the way a medium shot is lit, from the environment to the time of day. Cinematographer Roger Deakins has been in charge of lighting some of the most iconic films in cinema history including:

  • The Shawshank Redemption,
  • Fargo, and
  • Skyfall.