Cinematographers usually refer to six basic shots. They are defined by the distance of the object from the camera and therefore how much of the object is in the frame.

Extreme long shot or establishing shot – This shot still contains a fair amount of landscape and helps to establish the location and likely atmosphere of that part of the film. It is very often used at the beginning of the film. For example, a view of the Australian landscape or Sydney Harbour.

Long shot – This shot still contains a fair amount of landscape or background though figures in the scene are recognisable as being human and male or female.

Full shot – This shot contains much less landscape or background but it does contain the whole height of any figure in the frame. If there are two figures in the frame it is called a two-shot, if there are three, a three shot.

Medium shot (mid-shot) – In a medium shot there is less background and figures in the frame are only seen from waist up. This too can be called a two-shot, three-shot etc depending on the number of figures.

Close up shot – A close up contains almost no background but focuses on the whole of an object or a person’s face

Extreme close up – An extreme close up focuses on an aspect of an object in great detail or a person’s face. For example, part of the design of a chair, the headline in a magazine or someones eye.