Camera Angles:
Understanding the Power of
Camera Placement
...!


camera angles camera placement

Camera angles give the audience unique views of a scene... The "Angle" is the camera's, and more importantly, the audience's viewpoint of the scene.

Let's take a look at these different angles and how to use them…!


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The term “camera angles  ” can mean slightly different things to different people in film and video production.

But... the way I use the term here is...

Camera angles definition

The physical relationship of the camera to the person or object that is being viewed.

In other words... the "angle" is where the camera is placed in relation to the people and objects in the scene.

Camera Angles - Audience

It is determined by answering the question...

From where will the audience  be looking at this shot?...

*  Straight-on, or

*  Looking down at the subject or

*  Looking up at the subject etc.

Simple...! The important things to know are:


Using Camera Angles Tips #1

  • The camera's angle not only gives the audience a "viewpoint" from a physical location...
  • It also gives "emotional information" to the viewer that guides the viewer's judgment about the character or object in the scene or shot.

"Angles" Versus Camera "Shot" Types…

Some people use the term “Camera Angle” to include "Camera Shot Types"...

They are not really the same thing... There are basic "Camera Shot types"(See Related Articles below)

Camera Shot – Framing the SubjectFraming the Subject

The basic Camera Shots  are really more about...

  • Framing the subject properly
  • Scene composition
  • The distance  between the camera and the subject
  • Audience viewpoint (of location)
  • Orienting the viewer in the scene

"Camera Angles " on the other hand...

Camera angle – high angle with tiltHigh Angle Camera Shot

Are more about creating an...

*  Impact  and

*  Emotional reaction...

In your audience by camera positioning and placement in ways so that they have a unique  view of the scene.

How Do Angles Affect the Emotional Response of Your Audience…?

The angle you are shooting at will go a long way in determining the emotional response of your audience.

movie audience

You can use angles to set a mood or tone so viewers can better grasp the emotional content in the scene.

Viewers have been conditioned by filmmakers over the years to interpret the cameras "eye level " or "angle " as containing “meaning ”.

For example, most viewers expect the camera to show a level horizon. If the camera view is not level...

Then the scene appears unusual, "sinister" or that something may be wrong or about to happen. A bird’s-eye or worms-eye view is unnatural and draws attention just because of the angle itself. The more extreme the angle... The more emotional, unusual, or symbolic the shot can seem to a viewer.

Your "Eyepoint" (Camera Level) and Camera Angles…

As a videographer or filmmaker, the angles that you shoot your shots or scenes at should be carefully considered.

Videographers camera level

The video’s or film'seye level” (angle) is where the camera is placed when shooting and... generally speaking...

A standing videographer will hold the camera at his  eye level.

Eye level  is generally expected by the audience to be set at about... 4 feet to 6 feet off the ground.

This level of view is considered "normal " by most viewers and that would be fine most of the time... But… As a videographer your "view" may be different from the "standard" angle of view.

If you're an exceptionally tall person, your camera angle will usually be looking down at people and objects (high angle view) and they'll appear to be smaller than they are (which is what a high angle view does).

Similarly, a short videographer might consider whether it's always good to be looking up at people (low angle view). The low angle view often appears to make the subject look bigger or more powerful which might not be what the videographer intends in that scene. So for him perhaps it would be better to stand on higher ground sometimes.

Camera Angle Tip #2 – Viewer Reaction

The message here is...

* The angle that you shoot a subject at will evoke an emotional, as well as, visual  response from the viewer. So... just be very aware of this when you shoot your shot or scene.

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Some Tips on Using the Various Shot Angles…

Just remember... When you shoot a shot or scene that... the angle you shoot at will go a long way in determining the intellectual and emotional response of the  audience.

Carefully consider the angles and how they will impact your viewer... Here are some articles on how you can use the various camera angles:


Camera angles high angle

  Camera Angles: The High Angle  

    * A high angle can make the subject look or appear smaller, weaker, younger or give the subject a more sympathetic look.


Camera angles – overhead shot

  Camera Angles: The Overhead Shot  

    * Using an overhead angle is a unique look and will give your audience the impression of space and a more panoramic view of the scene.


Camera angles – low-angle

 Camera Angles: Low-Angle Shot  

* Placing the camera at a low angle can make a subject appear more dominant, powerful, sinister, nobler, bigger or even meaner!


Camera angle – Dutch tilt

  Camera Angles: The Dutch Tilt  

* The slanted angle or Dutch tilt gives the audience an off-balance view and can create an emotional response that "something is different" or "wrong".


Camera angle – eye-level

  Camera Angles: Eye-Level  

* The eye-level angle tells the audience to relate to the subject on a more personal level as if they were "right there" with the subject.


Camera Angles – Objective and Subjective

  Camera Angles: Objective and Subjective  

* The Objective and Subjective angles can be used to create impact and emotional involvement with your video production!


Using the different angles intelligently can help you create the exact emotional response you want from the audience to your video...!


Become a master at using the various camera angles and you'll be able to generate the exact emotional response that you want from the audience to your scenes...

And that can make for a great  video...!

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Have fun...!  Dan


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