ByMark Dobos, writer at
Freelance journalist, eccentric writer with self destructive tendencies... Check out my photography blog over at: https://stillshootingfilm.
Mark Dobos

Motion picture is art. While the story is king, it is really a visual art-form, and the compositions, colors and locations all play a major role in the photography of movies. While filmmakers always focus on telling the story first, sometimes the pictures can be more powerful than any dialog or character progression. Here are some of the greatest shots of cinema history.

The Tree of Life (2011)

Even if you don't like the eccentric story-line and the very cryptic message of the film, you must accept the beauty of the stunning montages and shots of The Tree of Life.

Black Swan (2010)

The key to a good psychological horror lies in the details and the little things. Black Swan knows that, and utilizes strong imagery with its photography. The end result is a very eerie and weird atmosphere.

The Shinning (1980)

Stanley Kubrick was the master of subliminal messages and cryptic signs presented in a visual manner. He arranged every little detail we can see in every shot, and everything is on purpose. Probably there are hidden little messages in the shot above as well.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1985)

This is one of the most iconic moments of horror film history. Everyone knows this shot!

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Quentin Tarantino is also known for being careful with the composition of the characters, the background and the lights. All three are in perfect harmony in this shot from Reservoir Dogs.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Another very powerful shot from Stanley Kubrick.

American Beauty (1999)

This famous shot from American Beauty, is just so pleasant for the eyes to look at. Perfect!

Fight Club (1999)

Possibly one of the greatest endings of film history the memorable moment when Tyler Durden and Marla hand-in-hand watch the collapse of skyscrapers. Classic!

The Exorcist (1973)

Probably more people saw this shot than the actual movie; this gloomy, dark and mysterious image sums up perfectly the ambiance of the whole film.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

In the middle of the biggest sword fight in cinema history, when the lights goes out Tarantino goes totally art house with his photography.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Yet another film of Stanley Kubrick. This guy must have known something. Just look at that gorgeous countryside scenery.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Oh, the legendary face-off in the Star Wars saga. The fog, the silhouettes and the glittering of the lightsabres. Warning, this image can stir up a lot of emotions and memories from your childhood!

This is just a very short compilation of beautiful compositions and vivid colors. Cinema history is filled with numerous beautiful shots, and simply you would need a top 500 list to mention all of them. I tried to choose some of my favourites and the ones that might interest you guys! Stay tuned for more!

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