Project Four: Examples of Camera Angles

The angle that the camera is positioned in relation to the subject can help to give a particular feeling to a shot, and turn a possibly mundane shot into something much more dynamic.  As we see most things at eye-level, positioning the camera at eye height just replicates how we see the world on a daily basis, and whilst this might be suitable for most things, there are times when moving the position of the camera will assist in the narrative.

Eye-Level

a camera positioned eye-level (to the subject, not the camera person) denotes a neutral status, and can be a little bit too "normal"

a camera positioned eye-level (to the subject, not the camera person) denotes a neutral status, and can be a little bit too “normal”

Camera positioned eye-level to the subject, putting the viewer equal to the subject.

Camera positioned eye-level to the subject, putting the viewer equal to the subject.

High Angle

A high angle can show a weakness in the subject, making them seem smaller and less powerful, making the viewer feel superior to the subject

High camera position looking down on the subject, making the subject seem smaller, weaker, less powerful

High camera position looking down on the subject, making the subject seem smaller, weaker, less powerful

A high angle can also be an information shot.

High camera position also provides an information shot, and overview of events that wouldn't normally be seen from eye-level

High camera position also provides an information shot, and overview of events that wouldn’t normally be seen from eye-level

Low Angle

A camera positioned low to the subject, looking up, can make the subject appear more powerful, or dominating, making the view feel inferior to the subject

Low camera position looking up, making the subject seem larger, stronger, more powerful

Low camera position looking up, making the subject seem larger, stronger, more powerful

Extremely low camera position showing the power and dominance of the subject, scarily so!

Extremely low camera position showing the power and dominance of the subject, scarily so as in this menacing dentist shot.  The Point of View (POV) of this dentists unlucky patient, also serves to make the viewer feel uncomfortable – we;ve all been in the position where we’ve been sat waiting for the dentist to start work, and many have a fear of the dentsit.

another camera angle mentioned in the course materials is the “Dutch angle”, a canted, wonky shot, although I have a few reservations about including it in this learning log post for a couple of reasons.  Firstly I don’t think it falls into the same category as the camera angles I’ve already listed, and secondly, I have never (intentionally!) filmed anything during my career at a ridiculous angle, and no matter how much I drag my hidden “artiste” out, I don’t think I’ll be shooting many Dutch angles now!  I do have a couple of stills that I have shot though (intentionally!)

This was shot like this purely to fit the pier and the Red Arrows heart in the frame!

This was shot like this purely to fit the pier and the Red Arrows heart in the frame!

The canted angle in this shot, combined with the low position of the camera makes the subject appear more dominant and powerful.

The canted angle in this shot, combined with the low position of the camera makes the subject appear more dominant and powerful.

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