Zenfolio | Leigh MILLER | Cinematic Photography

Cinematic Photography

December 29, 2017  •  2 Comments

Circa...2009 I think

In the years before I began pursuing photography as more than a hobby, I hung out with a group of like-minded people on weekends and holidays. We would go "shooting" in the same way that people get together to golf, bar hop etc. For most of us with serious day jobs like Stock Broker, Doctor, Accountant or Lawyer photography was our way of relaxing and tapping into that part of who we were...that didn't match up with the job titles.

I don't see those people much these days. Life has a way of taking over and shifting your priorities. Personally I think if more people did things like that away from "work" the world would be a more pleasant place for us all. Everyone needs a pressure valve.

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca My particular group was very diverse and because there was very little overlap in our day jobs we almost NEVER talked shop whenever we got together. Time was limited and why bother doing that right?

http://leighmiller.zenfolio.com As we got better at making images, leveraging each other's knowledge and experience there was a very real challenge to outdo the next guy by getting "The Shot". It wasn't enough to just take a nice picture...it had to be cinematic. What I considered to be cinematic back then shifted as well but it still contains one important ingredient: Tension.

Here's something that will twist your thoughts: There is no camera setting that you can copy. No lens that works better than another and definitely no "preset or LUT". "Those" people can afford any camera and lens. If it was that easy the competition wouldn't be any fun. Tension is something you have to feel your way through. It's more than "bokeh" and technical execution. You already know the "HOW" of making an image...Tension is more about why and when. It's about lighting, color...perspective. The moment. That time, that place that feeling.

Ten-sion [tenSHan]


  • the state of being stretched tight.
  • mental or emotional strain.


  • apply a force to (something) that tends to stretch it.


....is that one thing that "invests" you in a scene. It keeps you in your seat instead of getting up for a drink or to head off to the bathroom during a movie or TV show. You don't want to miss anything and it's too good to look away or press the pause button. Photographs that have that same tension engages you, makes you linger awhile before swiping left.

Tap Dancing | Fujifilm X100s

XF16_55XF16_55Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Jamming | Fujifilm X-T2

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

The Medina | Fujifilm X-M1

The Gondola Ride | Fujifilm X-T1

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

NYPD picking up dinner at Katz's | Fujifilm X70

Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

Snow Monkey Grooming | Fujifilm X-T2

After The Party | Fujifilm X100s

 Sci-Fi | Fujifilm X-T1

Tunnel Vision | Fujifilm X100s

From the bottom of my heart...I wish you all a very Happy New Year!


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Good post about cinematic photography.The shots wee amazing.Thank you for sharing .Looking forward for more post like this.
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