House of Cards has excellent cinematography. Every shot is composed with high precision and elegance, all emphasizing the cold, reflecting the world of Frank Underwood.
The series cinematographer Igor Martinovik elaborates on how the show uses its visual style to enhance its story; for instance, the camera never pans and tilts at the same time, in order to create a sense of stillness.
Almost every single frame of this show is composed to place a pale blue object in the foreground with a pale yellow light in the background.
When watching House of Cards, you may be struck by the precisely composed shots, dark lighting, and subdued colors. It’s all a deliberate strategy formulated by the show’s directors in concert with Martinovic.
The series was shot in a RED Epic camera, and although the raw footage is in 5K resolution, the composing was all done in a 4K frame, so that they had wiggle room to adjust shots during post-production for more precision.
Last year, House of Cards received an Emmy Award in recognition for its cinematography, beating out Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men.