Bill Nichlos identifies six modes of documentary films: poetic, expository, participatory, observational, reflexive and performative.

Cinematography/videography is an art of thinking in picture, writing in movement and filmmaking.  Camera is the main medium that takes first place in filmmaking.

In my classes, when I talk about a film/video production, the main purpose is the images and camera position in mechanical and mental way, and my first impression is how the film is recorded and the minds – director and cameraperson – behind that medium.

In this way I see the visible camera character in any films and not the words.

The character of a camera has two interdependent parts:

Mechanical position: The camera movements like panning, tilting, craning, tracking, Steadicam etc.

Mental position: The Framing and aspect ratio: Close shot, long shot, Medium Shot, Panavision, wide screen etc.

Camera angle: Low angle shot, high angle shot, fish’s eye view, bird’s and worm’s eye view etc.

Both parts give a visible personality of camera:

Passive personality:

Camera has a neutrals view like Science and Natural documentaries, newsreel (without any manipulation), educative, informative and history films.

Active personality:

Camera is dynamic and active in different ways:  judgmental, participant, attached, responsible, dedicated, intimate, interactive, curious, etc.


Try to be your own camera. Visualize your thoughts and move your body as a camera moves. With each movement, you would be able to understand the feeling how a camera observes its environment. But there is a big problem with our eyes! Our eyes are not able to make any medium and close shot.

To solve this natural weakness we can create a virtual world by closing our eyes. In this was we are able to fantasize whatever we wish to see.

Those virtual imaginations are the most important ability of a camera.

The camera is the conscious mind. The recorded/filmed pictures – motion pictures – are the rough productions without any sensation regarding to the whole story. The editing is the subconscious mind. It means, “The Editing” is the spirit of the whole film.