When describing different cinematic shots, different terms are used to indicate the amount of subject matter contained within a frame, how far away the camera is from the subject, and the perspective of the viewer. Each different shot has a different purpose and effect.
A change between two different shots is called a CUT.
I've used examples from the Twilight Saga.
1. Extreme Long Shot:
An extreme long shot can be taken from as much as a few kilometers away, and is generally used as a scene-setting (or establishing) shot.
It normally shows an EXTERIOR, e.g. the outside of a building or a landscape, and tells us where the next scene is going to take place.
2. Long Shot:
A long shot is generally a shot which shows the image as approximately "life" size, i.e. corresponding to the real distance between the audience and the screen in a cinema (the figure of a man would appear as six feet tall).
This category includes the FULL SHOT showing the entire human body, with the head near the top of the frame and the feet near the bottom.
3. Medium Shot:
A medium shot contains a figure from the knees/waist up and is normally used for dialogue scenes, or to show some detail of action.
Variations on this include the TWO SHOT (containing two figures from the waist up) and the THREE SHOT (contains 3 figures).
Another variation in this category is the OVER-THE-SHOULDER-SHOT, which positions the camera behind one figure, revealing the other figure, and part of the first figure's back, head and shoulder.
4. Close-up Shot:
A close-up shot shows very little background, and concentrates on either a face, or a detail of the scene.
This shot magnifies the object (think of how big it looks on a cinema screen) and shows the importance of things, be it words written on paper, or the expression on someone's face.
The close-up takes us into the mind of a character. In reality, we only let people who we really trust get THAT close to our face - mothers, children and lovers, usually - so a close up of a face is a very intimate shot.
A film-maker may use this to make us feel extra comfortable or extremely uncomfortable about a character.
5. Extreme Close-up Shot:
As its name suggests, an extreme version of the close up, generally magnifying beyond what the human eye would experience in reality.
An extreme close-up of a face, for instance, would show only the mouth or eyes.
Working in small groups, think of a scenario involving learners in the classroom. Storyboard your scenario taking care to use each of the camera shots. (Don't worry about dialogue.) Shoot your mini movie (± 30 seconds) using a cellphone.
Please note: The actors must stand at least 1 meter apart and not have ANY contact whatsoever! You must work out which shots and angles to use in order to trick the eye into believing that they really ARE hitting each other.
Storyboard your movie using all the elements that we've learned about (lighting, focus, line, colour, camera shots and angles). Compose each shot according to the response you want your audience to have.