10 Camera angles Types

camera angles and shot types

If you want to become a filmmaker (from soundman to the director), you need to know the different types of camera shots. The language of shots is how the crew member of every production is speaking. In most of the cases, the film director will want to plan the shots in advance even if you shoot documentary films. 

It’s very important to understand that the way you choose to shoot can really affect your audience’s emotions about the scene. For example, the camera is panning through a room and suddenly stops on an object. At that point, the audience understands that there is something important about that object. Panning can also be used on two men talking and by that, it will emphasize the contrast between them. all types of camera shots will change the angle in the scene, it will change your audience’s attention, so enjoy this camera angles examples so you’ll know how to use the camera right.

Why knowing the basic camera shots names is important?

I know I promised that on this blog, I want to focus more on the creative part of filmmaking than the technical part, but knowing the camera angles and shots is very basic and will help us to communicate better on the next articles. The camera angles and shots are the basic languages of film production. Everybody in the production set will communicate using these shots names, so you absolutely must know them. The camera angles are the best tool to tell a story without explaining too much.

Why using different types of camera angles is important?

The camera angles you’ll choose will be a great tool to describe the relationships of the characters without words.  POV shot (I will explain it later on) will tell the audience who is the important character in the scene (that will also be the character that gets more screen time) If you’ll shoot one character closer and the other in a more open shot, the one that was shot closer will look and feel to the audience as the stronger one. Read the next shots, angels, I’m introducing here and you will understand what I’m saying.

so here it goes:

The Different Types of Cinematography Shots

Long Shot(LS )

The shot shows all the body of the photographed object and some of its background. Usually, we use it the beginning of a scene, so the audience will understand where the scene is taking place. Sometimes, when the scene is long,
we will use it to remind the audience where the scene is happening. This angle has no emotional strength. It simply gives us information.

Long shot Example

Full Shot

A shot that is being used a lot less today. Its primary use is when you want to connect the character to its location. It’s a hard shot when to edit with. especially because it reveals too much of the background. If for example we have a dialogue scene, we can see the second character in the shot of the other, and that can make it difficult for the continuity of the editing. The biggest advantage of the shot is that it allows the actor to use his body language.

Full Shot

 

Medium Shot(MS)

A very popular shot angle. Also called “Waist shot”. Usually, it’s an angle that contains the top of the photographed object. It creates a sense of distance from the person that is being shot, but to such an extent that we can still see him and his body language clearly, with some level of intimacy. When you are using this kind of shot (and you are going to use it a lot), you must pay attention to the background. Also pay attention to the actor’s body posture and movements. 

Medium Close up example

Two Shot

The same as Medium Shot with the difference that it includes two people. In this example we see the two characters facing each other, but it doesn’t have to be like that. You could also have a two-shot where on the character is in the front and the other is in the back. This shot is good to deliver the emotions that are running between the two characters.

Two Shot

Medium Close Up (MCU )

 

A very intimate shot. We see is only head and shoulders. This shot is used a lot in interviews and TV. In films we use MCU a lot on reaction shots or when we want to emphasize the drama.It is customary to put the photographed object in this shot just beyond the center of the frame, so the shot will not be too symmetrical. You should also leave a space on the side to which the character speaks or turns to. The Close Up shot is similar but a little closer.

Medium Close up example

The advantages of Medium shots are:

  • They are easy to lighten and it’s also easy to connect them with other shots in the scene.
  • This shot helps to convey what the character feels with only very light expressions using mainly the eyes.

The disadvantages of Medium shots are:

  • Sometimes the shot has nothing to do with the spirit of the scene and can serve as a kind of invasion of subject’s privacy (especially in documentary cinema). The viewer may find himself uncomfortable when it happens.

 

Close-Up/Extreme Close-Up (ECU)

Close-up is a shot that turns the object that is beeing shot to very important one in the frame. In ECU the shot is very close to the object. For example, in a person shot, we might see only the face of the character or only his hands. The feeling that the viewer gets is that what we see at the moment is very important, or with intense emotional weight. For example, a woman walking on the street at night. ECU on her eyes can convey to us a sense that she is scared.

Over The Shoulder Shot (O/S)

The shot focuses on an object over the shoulder of another person whose face is directed to the same object. We will see the back of the shoulder and part of the head of the person who looks at the object. Directors use this shot a lot in dialogues since it is kind of a “shortcut” to see both characters at the same time. 

Over the shoulder example

Point of view (POV)

The POV shot is a great film technique to make the viewer identify with your character. This is also a great way to create tense.  In the POV shot, the camera transmits the point of view of an object in the scene. It basically takes the place of character that looks at something. If we are filming two people talking and we want to pass the point of view of one over the other,

the camera will be in front of the photographed object in the place of the one we want to emulate his eyes. Usually, the photographed object will not look directly into the camera, but 30 degrees to the side. If the object looks directly into the camera, it’s like he is looking directly at the audience and thus breaks the magic of cinema. Of course, there are quite a few films that do this on purpose, but this should be a conscious decision.

low-angle shot

On this shot, the camera is positioned at a low angle, anywhere below the eye line as if it’s looking up. This type of shot is making the object look very big, strong, and powerful. Sometimes this shot can be used to make the audience feel close to the action.

low-angle shot,

High Angle Shot

On this shot the camera is positioned on a high angle, making the object look small. Directors use this shot to make their characters look weak. It is also good to bring an overview of the scene from an unexpected angle.

 

 

So there are many more types of camera shots and angles, but I think I brought the important ones here. If you think I missed any important camera shots,
let me know

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