Proximity, a physical closeness between camera and character, was one of the first things I discovered as a budding cinematographer as a powerful way of creating an intimate point of view. Intuitively, situating the camera closer to a character increases their presence within the possible field of view. In doing so, our relationship to foreground and background changes, amplifying our attention to the foregrounded subject and pushing the background away as light bends increasingly at close distances to focus light onto the image plane. It allows for “more nuanced, precise responses to an actor’s gestures” (Greenhalgh, 2005), and equally allows the camera to remain still as its restricted view highlights the actor’s subtleties. This is heightened further with advancements in technology such as large format sensors. The larger sensor allow the same angle of view with a respectively longer focal length compared to Super 35, resulting in further separation between foreground and background (and less distortion too).

This physical closeness is something that came up
quite a bit talking to other cinematographers,
but is also sometimes difficult to achieve.

Earle Dresner ACS discusses the conundrum of achiving proximity without impacting on an actor’s performance
On ‘Dust Cloud’ and ‘Where is my Darling?’, achieving this closeness through proximity was difficult for these very reasons, working with animals places restrictions on how close a camera can get, and being closer to the subject also amplifies how much camera movement is needed to correct off eye-lines or missed marks. On a documentary, it’s near impossible most of the time without a willing subject and the flexibility of time, something that only really started to develop as our filming concluded with Lanz.
For ‘Death Doula’, Jenna and I have been referencing works such as ‘Fish Tank’, ‘American Honey’, ‘Babyteeth’, and ‘Normal People’ from day dot — and as such, experimenting with proximity has been high on our priority list as we both resonate with the visceral nature it can produce. This process has been aided by the fact that Jenna is acting on screen as our protagonist Annie. Through our tests we’ve had some magical moments, and equally come to similar realisations that while beautiful and intimate at moments, these moments of proximity should be used selectively (in Death Doula, as moments of deep emotional connection), to both enhance their effectiveness, and not get in the way of performance.
Sherwin Akbarzadeh discusses his coverage approach to a subjective point of view.
The other important consideration of proximity, particularly in the context of coverage, is where we situate the audience throughout a scene. In dialogue between characters, this is normally a distinction between inside or outside a conversation, but when considered holistically, it can become more complex.

This is something I hadn’t considered enough when filming Dust Cloud. In pre-production, the key reference for me visually was ‘Babe’. The way it embodied the animals' perspective through point of view and reaction shots felt like a perfect strategy to adopt for Dust Cloud. Thus my approach was fairly simple: