What Are Camera Angles?

The term camera angle can mean something different depending on who you ask. For some, a camera angle refers to all shot types, while to others, it merely refers to the literal angle at which a camera is pointed. Here at Shutterstock, camera angles refer to a mix of both shots and actual angles. 

Literal Interpretations of "Camera Angle"

If you focus on the literal interpretation of camera angle, you get five definitions. Those are as follows: 
  • High Angle: Using this technique, you shoot a subject from above. You may use this angle to make a subject appear insignificant or submissive.
  • Low Angle: Low angle shows a subject from below, which gives the impression of power or dominance. 
  • Bird's Eye: Bird's eye provides an unnatural point of view from high in the sky. This technique creates drama and allows the viewer to see things a character cannot. 
  • Eye Level: Eye-level is the most common angle filmmakers use. With this technique, you see subjects as you would in real life. 
  • Slanted: Known as the Dutch tilt, this technique involves tilting the camera so the horizon is on an angle. You might find this technique often used in action films. 
Literal camera angles are used to shape viewers' perspectives. 

Types of Shots

Camera angle may also refer to the type of shot a director chooses to use. Some of the more common shot
types are as follows: 
  1. Wide Shot: In these types of shots, a figure can be seen from head to toe. 
  2. Extreme Wide Shot: Extreme wide shots are often used to introduce the scene in which action is about to take place. 
  3. Close Up: Close ups enable you to get a better impression of what is character thinks and feels. 
  4. Mid-Shot: Mid-shots shoot a subject from the waist up. 
  5. Over the Shoulder Shot: Over the shoulder shots are used to create a sense of intimacy. 
  6. Depth of Field Shot: Depth of field shots refer to how much of a shot seems to be in focus in front of and behind the subject. 
If you need professional footage for a last-minute project, check out Shutterstock’s stock footage collection. Refer to our guide to learn how to use stock videos to your advantage. 

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