Cine stills

Trying to emulate movie stills is quite fun. Taking candid pictures of people on the streets and giving them a fictional story by cropping and color grading is actually an enjoyable process.

If you want to do this yourself I have a couple of tips for you.

  1. Cinematic crop. – Crop 2.33:1 or something similar. Really wide. Don’t be afraid to crop off foreheads or hair. It adds drama and tension.
  2. Use a standard focal length or wider. Use fast aperture lenses and open them completely for a narrow depth of field.
  3. Use images that has some sort of action going on. Walking, talking, obviously thinking. Use a main character that tells the story.
  4. Use split toning in post processing. Support grey weather and drama by grading in blue/green, support sunny weather by grading in yellow/red tone.
  5. Add black bars in photoshop by pasting your 2.33:1 crop into an 3:2 black canvas.

Try it out.

Its quite addictive!


All shots using Fujifilm cameras using mostly 35 f/1.4 and 23 mm f/1.4.

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23 thoughts on “Cine stills

  1. I only discovered your work recently, but in the past several weeks I have developed a great admiration for your skills as a photographer. More than that, I find your work truly inspiring, and it has helped motivate me to improve my own images. Thanks for setting the bar so high! 😉

  2. Super cool effect and applied to your fantastic photographic eye for things, a truly winning combination. Thank you sir for sharing your magic; a view behind the curtain, it’s very generous of you.

    PS you saved me a bit of trouble a while back, when I mentioned to you that my new xpro2 had a hot pixel. The pixel mapping worked like a charm. Thank you kindly sir.

  3. Definitely I’ll try this! I have been trying to shoot things for fun, not just for work and this is a great idea!

    Thank you so much! fantastic images!

  4. i love doing this kind of framing, sticking some duct tape on my XT-1 back screen for a 2.33 framing guide, and a 90/2 lens.But why not going further and give a try to an anamorphic lens adapter, this is a real funny expérience, not really cheap but worth a try, anamorphic flare is awsome.

  5. Really nice, Jonas!

    I’ve been trying to replicate on my iPad. Aviary app with frames, Original, will give black bars.
    Polarr app has some toning features.

    Have you tried on tablet? If so, care to share what you find, e.g. a workflow?
    Otherwise I’ll just use PS when I’m in my office.

  6. i kind of like this kind of photography genre (if you could say that, lol)
    give some kind of memorable feeling, kind of like watching a movie you never can’t get out of your head..

    great picture!!
    greeting from Indonesia

  7. Dear Sir,

    What is your opinion about using Leica lenses on Fuji X series cameras* Do you think we can get fully the Leica look by using those lenses on Fuji cameras? Thanks!

  8. I really love the look of these, being the movie fan that I am. Could you tell me how you paste the image in Photoshop in order to create the black banding? By the way, your blog is top-notch! Excellent work and very inspiring. Thanks for all you share.

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