enter image description here

It looks a concave shot. But I am weak in photography.

What is the proper name of this camera shot?

  • 3
    @James, you will probably enjoy this article from American Cinematographer about The Favourite. – osullic Mar 25 '19 at 14:50
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    Can you describe in words what you are seeing? I think I have a guess from "it looks like a concave shot", but it's just a guess. Please read Important information for asking "What's this effect?" questions and edit this post accordingly. Make sure to use a descriptive title, too. (Every question needs a unique title, and imagine how many different ones could use the title you gave!) Thank you! – mattdm Mar 25 '19 at 16:20
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    Considering that this is a a still from a movie, are you asking from a photographic context (i.e., wanting to take photos), or are you asking from a cinematographic context (i.e., wanting to take these types of shots in a video)? – scottbb Mar 26 '19 at 19:27

There really isn't a term for this "type of shot" per se, but it is the type of shot one would expect to get using certain gear.

Most lenses attempt to correct for distortions, but fish-eye lenses go against the grain by utilizing barrel distortion to create their "effect."

This image looks like it was shot using this type of lens as indicated by the barrel-distorted carriage, the curvature of what would otherwise be a straight line (carriage -> horses) and the curvature of the trees toward the center of the frame (note how this gets more extreme for the outer trees).

Additionally, nothing in the shot is very sharp. However, the trees are distinctly less sharp than the carriage, which has a right front wheel that doesn't look too far gone (as far as focus as concerned).

This leads me to suspect that the shooter intentionally used a slower shutter speed and attempted to track/follow the carriage as it moved. This is a panning technique that is used to capture motion blur of a background while keeping the subject sharp. However, it's not the easiest thing to pull off and it appears that this shot was not uber successful at it. The shutter speed was too short to get a good motion blur on the background and the panning not in-sync with the carriage enough to pull off a sharp subject.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong in assuming the panning and this could simply be a case of camera shake and/or missed focus.

  • per se, not per say. You need to brush up on your Latin :-P – osullic Mar 25 '19 at 21:29
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    This is a screen grab from the Oscar-winning movie The Favourite. See my comment just below the question itself. – osullic Mar 25 '19 at 21:32
  • @osullic my Latin is a tad rusty. Iron Age rusty. :-). I haven't seen the movie but the screen grab makes a lot of sense. – OnBreak. Mar 26 '19 at 3:27
  • And this would imply a shutter speed of 1/48. – Rafael Mar 26 '19 at 13:03
  • @Rafael my video knowledge is also from the Iron Age. How is 1/48 implied? – OnBreak. Mar 26 '19 at 14:34

Looks like a fish eye lens with a slowish shutter speed


@Hueco has described the same I am posting, but I will make it as a bullet list, so you have the elements to deduce your next question.

  1. What focal length the shot has?

    • In this case, because the distortion is an ultra-wide lens, a fisheye one (somehow around an 8-10mm equivalent?)
  2. What vertical angle it has?

    • The camera is on a low angle position, therefore pointing a bit upwards. If you imagine a person standing in front of the carriage, the camera would be between the knee and the hip.
  3. Does it have motion blur?

    • As it is a screen grab from a movie, it is fair to imply it was taken on a 1/48 s shutter speed (considering a standard frame rate of 24 fps and a "rolling shutter" or "180°" rule, this gives you half of that). But in general, it is hard to have motion blur on a wide angle lens, so yes, it has a slow shutter speed.
  4. How much is in focus? Does the background have bokeh?

    • This would tell if the aperture was wide open, which I believe it was.
  5. Color Grading? Does the image look natural or it has some post-production on the colors?

    • It has a cool color grading, probably to make it more dramatic.
  6. As this is a moving object, it is also fair to assume it was made panning the camera.

  7. In videography and cinema the relationship framing + focal length is described as a shot, wide shot, medium shot, close up, etc. This case is a wide shot.

  8. Probably some more adjectives can be used, a little less photographic and more content related. "Action scene" comes to my mind.

In the end, you do not "Put a name a camera shot"; you describe the elements in it.

  • Backgrounds always have bokeh – mattdm Mar 26 '19 at 15:35
  • re: you do not "Put a name a camera shot", I'd say that's not quite true when it comes to cinematography. Film shots are often called "low, wide", or "high angle, medium closeup". It's very much a part of the language of cinematography. See: Ultimate guide to camera shots (from a cinema standpoint). However, notwithstanding the last sentence of your answer, excellent description of the shot. – scottbb Mar 26 '19 at 19:32
  • I cheated and added that as a point 7. :o) – Rafael Mar 26 '19 at 20:02

It looks like a lens with a lot of barrel distortion was used.


For the most part, photography and paint-on- canvas and pencil sketches are two dimensional, whereas we see the world three dimensionally(3D). Artists and photographers often use tricks of perspective to convey an illusion of depth. This image is an example of “Wedge Perspective”. Choosing a wide-angle lens and a careful camera placement, conveys a feeling of depth and speed. A tip of the hat to this photographer.


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