He seems to be thinking hard about his present situation. The lighting of this particular picture is dull and unclear with the contrast being low. The colorization also, black and white, portrays a man who is sad, devastated and stressed because of his present situation.
In the second birds-eye-view shot, a flashback, Northup appears to be contented with his state of being. He seems satisfied sharing bed with his wife and appears to be “at home." The picture colorization is bright and presents a situation where Northup is optimistic about the future. The difference in picture colorization presents different emotions and situations. The black and white picture color portrays a dull, unhappy mood while the colored picture presents a happy mood.
In the first birds-eye-shot, Northup’s mood is depressed. Obviously, in his state as a slave, he is feeling lonely because his family is not with him. With his apparent state of being locked up and beaten, he also seems heart broken. In the second birds-eye-shot, Northup being with his family, the mood the pictures presents are warm. He is not only harmonious with his being but also calm and warm having his family around him. In the same setting, in the bed, Northup is even planning of the future with his wife.
The shots and camera movements used in 12 years a slave are a variety. Sean Bobbitt the man behind the camera positioning of the film says most shots were taken when camera was handheld especially for the extended shots. With the handheld technique, Bobbitt explains that most people overuse the technique and at times do not bring out the intended results or does not tell the story effectively.
A single camera was used in the shooting of 12 years a slave scenes. This is because, a single camera is more effective as it takes the whole idea unlike many cameras that will consume time during editing and make work difficult at the same time likely to compromise some information. Single camera