The F-ing Stop

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

(*A title jokingly suggested by Jim Burns, but I could find no other title more fitting!)


This week we examined cinematography and the functions of the Canon C100 camera. As part of the class, we took experimented with created four different types of shots: 1.) Shallow depth of field 2.) Deep depth of field

3.) Focus pulling (from shallow to deep, or vice versa)

4.) Transitioning between two differently lit areas (i.e. indoor to outdoor) The exercise made me realize that I have a long way to go to feel confident in knowing what settings create which looks, right off the top of my head. I often had to think about the mechanics behind each shot. Settings will always need to be adjust obviously, no matter how skilled I become; but it was trying remember quickly the association between the F stop and the depth of field that took time. Ironically, we were forced to only use the same F stop setting throughout the exercise simply because we could not locate where the button was to change it, resulting in a rather frustrating defeat. This fiasco was thus deemed "the F-ing stop" when Jim heard about the ordeal - a rather fitting title. I am a big fan of focus pulling. It adds so much movement to a scene without anything actually moving within the scene. It's a wonderful signature and style, and I've realized how vital they will be for my film when transitioning between the present and memory. I will utilize this in addition to match cuts (for example, the bone and satellite in "2001: A Space Odyssey" or the match and sunrise in "Lawrence of Arabia"), will help me to create my own signature cinematic directing style and look. Here is a link to the referenced class exercise: https://vimeo.com/315111094

Source: still image from Practical Workshop II class exercise. Actress: Mari Nieuwerf, Cinematography: Tanja Schangin, Susan Shaw, and Meg MacDonald

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