The 25 Most Beautiful Shots of the ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise

From Sorcerer’s Stone to the second Deathly Hallows.
By  · Published on November 15th, 2016

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) dir. Mike Newell, D.o.P. Roger Pratt

This wide shot shows the wake of the Death Eaters’ raid on the spectators’ camp at the Quidditch World Cup. Besides being beautifully composed, this shot instills the darker atmosphere into which Goblet of Fire will start steering the franchise.

This first physical appearance of Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is the perfect imagining of the character who had been haunting the nightmares of millions of children. And by casting him in a pale, dull blue light, he appears almost alien, or certainly a being beyond our known realm.

See what I mean about darker? Now the franchise is bumping off kids, and by framing the victim (hi R-Patz!) in front of an anguishing Harry, wand still in hand, it emphasizes how life-changing this death is to our hero, and how foremost it will be to his immediate development.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) dir. David Yates, D.o.P. Slawomir Idziak

One of the best things about the Harry Potter franchise is that Harry isn’t its only hero. At different times in different stories each of the three protagonists has their moments of tragedy and triumph, and all three are developed equally, never as one in the shadow of another. This shot, framed with Hermione (Emma Watson) ahead of the others is an example of that narrative and visual equanimity.

This looks like it could be out of a sci-fi film, such is the geometry of the composition, the dread induced by a disproportionate balance of light and dark, and the god’s eye view of our characters navigating corridors.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009) dir. David Yates, D.o.P. Bruno Delbonnel

As Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) struggles with the dark deed Voldemort would have him do, he confronts himself in the mirror. It is his image, not himself, which is centered and in focus.

Snape healing Draco in the wake of the latter being cursed by Harry, is another whose framing suggests an eye, perhaps one looking at the truth of the two characters’s entanglement.

Harry’s loyalty to Dumbledore is perhaps best encapsulated by this shot of the boy wizard defending his weakened headmaster against the ghastly Inferi. Note how Harry is the only source of light in the scene.

Draco was always just a puppet, and Bellatrix whispering in his ear, to Draco’s fearful disdain, drives that home.

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