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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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Pan and Tilt

Pan and tilt refer to the horizontal and vertical repositioning of the camera lens. A pan (or panoramic shot) keeps the camera anchored to the center of an imaginary circle but rotates or swivels the camera lens horizontally such that it views the outside of the circle in an arcing motion. Pan shots are often referred to as “sweeping” because they can encompass large swaths of wide open landscape with only a few degrees of sweep along the arc of the panning circle (see Figure 5.2). A tilt rotates or swivels the camera’s lens along a vertical axis during the recording of a shot. If a balloon floats out of a child’s hand and drifts up to the clouds, the shot can start with the lens pointing down toward the ground and end tilting up ...

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