Talk:Tracking shot

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What is then the difference between a tracking shot and a travelling shot?

I don't think there is a difference, but I could be mistaken. --Brion 21:42 Dec 10, 2002 (UTC)
A zoom simply magnifies part of the image by moving a lens within the camera; a tracking shot or Steadicam shot involves moving the entire camera. The difference in apparent position caused by the change in focal length will often be so subtle as to go unnoticed. For that reason, many shots showing parallax will typically not be the result of simply zooming in or out (though the camera operator may of course zoom in or out while tracking).
God, I hope I didn't write that because I think that's a bit imprecise: parallax is visible in a rack focus, and so whether parallax will be visible in a zoom should be a function of depth of field. A zoom with a long lens will look quite different from a zoom with a wide lens. I think if we take a shot looking at something and make X towards the object, Y up, and Z left/right, then visible Z parallax will typically be because of tracking/dollying/steadicam work, whereas visible X parallax ('compressing distance') could be because of movement and/or a change of focal length.
This kind of writing should not be left to amateurs, and I am an amateur. Someone help!? --KQ
You've quite lost me here... Is "parallax" meaningful along the viewer->object axis? I was always under the impression that it referred specifically to apparent motion in the 2-dimensional viewing plane perpendicular to it. Is the parallax article deficient? --Brion 06:19 Dec 11, 2002 (UTC)

Ah, god, I don't know. I'm quite tired and have been for a week or more. Staying up late working on this film. I was thinking in three dimensions, thinking of being on location, not seeing it back on the screen.

Anyway what I mean is that I've never seen a rack focus send an object off the screen, though it can make objects appear to be closer together onscreen.

  1. Rack focus: objects keep same proportion to each other, though something in focus can go out of focus, or something out can go in, and the distance between objects will appear to shift slightly as a result (although it doesn't--just the edges of one object appear to blur as a result of the shift in focus).
  2. Zoom: all objects become larger or smaller, all at the same time and at the same rate.
  3. Tracking shot: objects appear to get larger as they approach the foreground, objects in the background get larger at a slower rate (if any difference in size is apparent at all).

Sorry for the confusion. --KQ

In the film Vertigo, the effects of changing focal length are apparent: the camera tracked in one direction while zooming in the opposite direction, causing an apparent "lengthening" of distance down the stairway.

Moving forward and zooming out or moving backward and zooming in? Patrick 00:04 Dec 12, 2002 (UTC)
If the depth of field increases (memory tells me that indeed it does), then I guess it must have been tracking in and zooming out. I'm not confident enough to add this to the article, however. --Camembert

Maybe this blog post could be used to support and improve the article. chandrasonic

This article is in need of a major overhaul. It is a real mess. A tracking shot is almost nothing like what this article describes. In fact, this article conflates wildly tracking shots, sequence shots and long takes, with a smattering of almost every other form of camera movement, with absolutely no discrimination. (talk) 18:49, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


The amazing shot in 'Atonement' covers the history of tracking shots and could be used as a base for further research for the article. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 18:37, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

It's precisely that movie (which i saw last night) which brought me here. That 5½mn shot was phenomenal.
The CNN link you provided points to an empty page at CNN. However, a Google search of "atonement tracking shot" will offer you loads of destinations.
--Jerome Potts (talk) 20:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

The Eagle (1925, Rudolph Valentino. Dir. Clarence Brown)[edit]

Mention must be made of the tracking shot, low and along the length of a dining table sumptuous with food in The Eagle (1925, Rudolph Valentino. Dir. Clarence Brown). (talk) 05:01, 8 January 2014 (UTC)