A tracking shot is any shot in which the camera films while being smoothly moved around. In most cases, the camera is mounted on a dolly that glides on tracks (hence the name). However, a dolly or any other kind of mobile support allowing for smooth movement may also move on wheels. Tracking shots can be achieved using a great variety of different devices such as a crane, Steadicam, or a well-supported handheld camera (i.e. a handheld camera on a wheelchair). The verbs to track and to dolly are often used synonymously.
A tracking shot usually moves with a character (or an object), but if the camera follows a subject over a lengthy period of time, this kind of shot is then called a following shot.
With regard to possible tracking movements, there is a great variety available to cinematographers. However, the most common are:
The camera moves (tracks) towards a subject or object (track in).
The camera moves (tracks) away from a subject or object (track out or track back).
The camera tracks along with a subject or object (i.e. a vehicle) in the same direction (tracking within).
The camera tracks a subject but moves in the opposite direction (countermove).
The camera tracks around a subject or object in a circle (circle shot).
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.