BSA234: Psychology of Camera

What is the psychology of the camera? It is one of my favourite elements of film. It’s the way the use of camera techniques portray emotion. It’s the way a wide lens gives a slight fisheye effect, distorting images, conveying to the viewer the discomfort of the character, a threatening character, or abnormality of the situation. It’s the way a steady cam communicates a sense of confidence, peace, or control, and adversely the way handheld camera work expresses panic, uncertainty, or distress. The choice of framing, composition and movement influence the emotional value the audience gain from what they’re watching.
These two videos explain this well:


For a class exercise this week in cinematography, we when outside in small groups to practice the psychology of camera. We had a list of different emotions or situations to portray in photos. The point of this was to experiment with composition, framing and shot type to find the best way to communicate these emotions. Below are some of the photos we took (apologies for any that are out of focus).

A person feeling powerless and alone
Two people arguing, oblivious of their surrounding.
Two people in love
Two people estranged, unaware of each other
A person brimming with joy and happiness
In love
A person in love
A person feeling trapped by their surroundings

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