The setting of the film is obviously a very early pioneer community in which there are frequent disagreements about land ownership and use. The first appearance of Shane shows him in the distance on horseback, against a background of impressive hills and wide landscape. This contrasts with the Starrett family’s small log cabin which is enclosed by log fences and a flowing river. The family scenes mostly take place in this small enclosed area, which appears all to have been created out of wood by the peaceful father figure of Joe Starrett. The villains, on the other hand, are pictured in dark saloon settings, with shades of brown and gray, and the key gun battle which resolves the danger to the community takes place in such a small, dark room.
The hidden message in the visual camera work is to highlight the broad vista of freedom and justice that Shane represents. In the scene where Shane leaves the community, the camera shows young Joey standing on the porch of his log cabin, watching the figure of Shane retreat into a small speck against craggy mountains, just as in the beginning he was first spotted from afar. The message is that a single American hero can travel the whole wide world and make a difference and he is presented as a hero through the eyes of young Joey.
Film-making is a team effort, and it involves many different technical skills contributed by specialists such as the camera operator, the actors, and professionals in areas such as lighting, music, make-up, costumes etc.