A Taxonomy of Elements of Shot Composition

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Analysing film images is one of the fundamental practices in our attempt to understand the medium. My aim here is to provide an analytical tool for the deconstruction of the film image. I wish to avoid some of the problems that image analysis has had in the past by avoiding any prescriptive interpretations of certain technical devices, nor do I wish to produce a list of meanings for specific cinematographic techniques. My intention is simply to identify aspects of the film image that could hold significance in any analytical approach. Starting with Nilsen’s breakdown of the cinematographer’s approach to constructing an image and Russell’s summary of style markers in film lighting, this article identifies the key components of a film image from a cinematography perspective that could serve a functional purpose in individual films. This article attempts to define a clear, objective taxonomy of elements of shot composition in order to establish a clear methodology for the analysis of a film image.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2018
EventSociety of Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image Annual Conference 2018 - Montana State University, USA, Bozeman, United States
Duration: 13 Jun 201816 Jun 2018


ConferenceSociety of Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image Annual Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleSCSMI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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