Camera Angles

The camera angle helps set the relationship the audience has with the subject of the shot. Camera angle can also establish the power relations between characters on screen.

The main camera angles are:

  • high camera angle
  • extremely high camera angle
  • low camera angle
  • Dutch angle (tilt)

High Camera Angle / Low Camera Angle

Extremely High Camera Angle (Bird’s Eye View / God’s Eye View)

Dutch Angle

A tilted camera creating a horizon line that is angled or tilted. Slightly disorienting effect on the viewer heightening the feeling of instability

Shot Sizes

There are eight shot sizes commonly used in film and video production:

  • Extreme Wide Shot (or Establishing Shot)
  • Wide Shot
  • Medium Wide Shot
  • Mid Shot (or Medium Shot)
  • Medium Close Up
  • Close Up
  • Big Close Up
  • Extreme Close Up

EXTREME WIDE SHOT (EWS) – or Establishing Shot

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The view is so far from the ‘subject’ that they aren’t visible in the shot. Most often used as an establishing shot to show the setting of the scene.

FILM EXAMPLE:


WIDE SHOT (WS)

Wide-Shot
The subject is now visible, but the focus is still on placing them in their environment. It is a good shot to show larger than human-scale action.

FILM EXAMPLE:


MEDIUM WIDE SHOT (MWS)

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Includes the whole subject within their environment. Typically a ‘Head-to-toe’ framing.

FILM EXAMPLE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTSmYA9AyZU


MID SHOT (MS) – Or Medium Shot

Mid-Shot-1024x576
Shows some part of the subject in more detail whilst still giving an impression of the whole subject. Framing typically is from head to mid section of the subject.

FILM EXAMPLE:


MEDIUM CLOSE-UP (MCU)

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This is a good shot for conversations as it still shows a subject within their environment. The shot is half-way between a Mid Shot and Close-up.

FILM EXAMPLE:


CLOSE-UP (CU)

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A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.

FILM EXAMPLE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpJj9c2OV-0


BIG CLOSE-UP (BCU)

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Focusses tightly on a subject. Useful for showing nuances of emotion.

FILM EXAMPLE:


EXTREME CLOSE-UP (ECU)

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Focusses very closely on a certain part of the subject to show extreme detail.

FILM EXAMPLE:

 

COMBINATION: MULTIPLE SHOT TYPES

Have a look at this famous scene from Good Will Hunting. How many shot sizes can you count and which shot sizes are used?