An extreme close up is a shot used in filmmaking, television production and photography in which the camera focuses on a particular detail of the subject. Extreme close ups are extremely intimate and are best used sparingly, according to Serif Ltd.
In an extreme close up, the cameraman zooms in tight on a particular part of the subject. A shot in which an eye, mouth, nose or other part of a person's face fills most of the frame is an example of an extreme close up. Because it conveys a limited amount of emotion, an extreme close up is usually preceded and followed by a wider shot when shooting video. When shooting still photography, the subject of an extreme close up takes on an almost abstract quality.
Photographers and filmmakers use extreme close ups for numerous reasons, including a lack of room, timing and emphasis. On a tight set, when a wider shot is not possible, an extreme close up is often a technical necessity. An extreme close up is often used in crucial points as the pace of action quickens and scenes jump quickly from one to the next. A tear rolling down a cheek, a pair of shaking hands and the red LED numbers on a ticking time bomb are scenes frequently captured by extreme close ups.