Heisui’s Thoughts: Confession – I know nothing about cinematography.


I say it all the time.  “This drama has such ~GORGEOUS~ cinematography!!”  I also hear other drama bloggers say it all the time, it is no secret that we will often gush on and on about how beautifully filmed a drama is.  Well, I have a confession to make.

I don’t know anything about cinematography!!!



As you all know, I LOVE taking screenshots.  I will meticulously try over and over again to get THE perfect screenshot and of course I love getting them in sparkly HD.  I love taking in the beauty of a drama’s visuals.  And of course, I will often repeatedly mention how wonderful a drama’s cinematography is.  But that doesn’t mean I really know what I’m talking about aside from the fact (or my subjective opinion) that it’s really pleasing to my eyes.  My knowledge of the actual techniques of cinematography are nil–you might as well equate my comments “The cinematography is amazing” to “It is really aesthetically pleasing to me.”  I think my only specific mentions of cinematic techniques would be……erm, general ones about the lighting, camera angles/filters…and..that’s it.  T__T””

It is so easy to talk about how gorgeous a drama is but know nothing about HOW such visuals were achieved & what effect they can have on the viewer.  If you are craving for some good commentary on the cinematography in dramas, I would suggest you read analogueblue’s reviews.  It was when I first read her reviews of Cruel City, which included screenshots & commentary on the actual cinematic techniques utilized in the drama, that I realized just how much more there to dramas that I don’t “see”.   Sure, I can take lots of screenshots that to me show how beautiful the drama is.  But I don’t really SEE the hidden elements in the picture.



Well, obviously I am no expert in reviewing dramas and of course, not even films for that matter.  I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to have extensive knowledge in cinematography to enjoy a drama.  So no, I’m not gonna go and study up on cinematography, nor am I going to attempt to provide lots of commentary on it in my reviews.  That is a whole different aspect which I am not really aiming to analyze in my reviews. But I think that having such knowledge can supplement our understanding and appreciation of just how much goes into the crafting of good dramas.


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
Nazo no Tenkousei: Eps 1-3
Itazura na Kiss 2 ~ Love in Okinawa: Filming for the second season! (Updated)
  • I knew nothing about cinematography till I took my ap English class..the only useful class I took in all of my high school career in which I can still apply what I learned today *_* Though the fact that you can pick out lighting and camera angles is already a giant step into understanding cinematography. Unless you’re a complete photo nerd like me, it’s perfectly fine to stop there. Actually, you may subconsciously take cinematic elements into account and incorporate it into your writing..what results may be your emotions concerning a particular scene, and it may have been swayed by how the director chose to construct a particular shot.

    Then again, sometimes the cinematography is pretty just to be pretty xD

    • That is actually a really interesting way of putting it. I never really thought of how it relates to the literary devices that are used in books. O_O I guess it is basically the same idea, except instead of literary techniques it’s all cinematic techniques! I will have to try to look at it that way.

      Yeah, I think part of the reason why I would like to know more about it is that I want to know what kind of impact the cinematography has on my interpretation of the drama!

  • I know nothing about cinematography either. I don’t really cover that in my reviews/recaps either. When I took art in high school, the teacher really tried to make us review art pieces of fellow classmen by talking about techniques, angles, etc. I SUCKED. I don’t get a lot of the elements.

    I did actually do a video class in middle school, but I really didn’t take much away from that. We got to use video cameras and work with some old video equipment to make our Friday news program. Not enough to know anything and there wasn’t a whole lot of editing involved or worrying to much about angles and lighting and all that good stuff. I like taking pictures and I take a lot of them, but I’ve never studied photography or how to properly use my expensive camera that someone got me as a gift. I always see these amazing photographs and wonder HOW people accomplished such shots.

  • Hah I’m the same here. I took one film class in college for German cinema and I swear I learned a lot there about different techniques, but you know what.. a) the kind of films we watched were totally weird and bizarre and typically from the first half of the 20th century, but most importantly, b) that was at least 5 years ago now, so whatever actual vocab I learned to describe stuff is way gone from my brain.

    As for literature helping, every now and then I pick out things that I remember studying, but it’s usually for a momentary “ahh” moment while I’m watching a drama, and then it’s gone.. OH but one thing I’ve NEVER forgotten: when you see curtains blowing in the breeze (of a usually open window) or waves crashing on the beach, it’s symbolism for sex. Lol. Of course I wouldn’t forget that. Hollywood movies in the 30s-50s were crazy about their curtains. And every now and then I catch it in dramas.. every now and then..

  • Heisui you are so cute xDDD hahaha how does it feel to see my face lol :S do I look different from what you expected? >< I think I must've been pretty in crisis mode to actually put my face on Tumblr, I've avoided even telling my name to Tumblr peeps up till now….

    • I expected you to be Asian, so I wasn’t too surprised, LOL. It might sound weird but when I usually think of you, I will associate your name with your avatar. O_O” Not that I would think you look like your avatar, it’s just that that was my only visual connected with you until I actually saw your face. HEHE. So now I can associate you with..your real face… 😛

      • haha I totally get what you mean with the avatar, that’s what I do with everyone lol. and I always take very long to adjust when someone switches avatar xP

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