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

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Understand When and How to Perform a Zoom during a Shot

Zoom lenses allow you to record frames at various focal lengths. The angle of view runs from wide to narrow. If the camera is locked down, then a “zoom in” simply magnifies the center of the wider frame. The optical shifting that a zoom lens allows is not possible with our human eyes so therefore the resulting motion is alien to our normal visual processing and stands out rather vividly. Many might say that you should never use a zoom action during the recording of a shot, but that is too limiting a view of the creative possibilities that a zoom lens can offer. Just be aware that since zooms change the focal length, they will also alter the depth of field so be conscious of your focus.

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