Are you new to creating videos? Wonder if there are any tricks to where the subject should be standing in relation to you? Have you thought about when it is appropriate to use different camera angles?
Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore! In this article, we break down 12 different common camera shots and angles to explain what they are and when to use them. Give these angles and shots a try in your next video and get ready to wow your audience.
Here’s a list of all of the shots and angles we’ll cover in this article.
- Long Shot
- Medium Shot
- Close Up
- Extreme Close Up
- High Angle
- Low Angle
- Over the Shoulder
- Point of View
- Aerial Shot
- Tracking Shot
Long Shot (Wide Shot)
The long shot is a shot that contains the person’s entire body in the frame as well as being able to see the environment they are in. It is best used to show any action that the person is making such as running, jumping, or walking towards something.
The long shot can also be good for establishing the scene with the people in it to give the audience a better context of the location the subjects are in.
The medium shot is one of the most common shots to use and there are several different variations of it. A typical medium shot is often either framed from the knees or waist up from the subject. It is used when a person is holding an object or talking to another person.
There can also be more than one person in the shot. Having only one person is called a single, having two people is called a two-shot, having three people is called a three-shot, and etc.
The close up is where the subject’s face occupies most of the frame. This is usually done to convey more emotion in the actor’s performance. If the facial features are the most important thing to show at that given time, then the close up is the right shot to use.
Close ups can also be used on objects and don’t only apply to people.
Extreme Close Up
The extreme close up is similar to the close up since facial expression is important for choosing this shot. However, the extreme close up is when the frame has either only the subject’s eyes or only their mouth in the shot. This is used to pick up a subtle detail in one’s facial expression such as a twitching eye to show that someone is tired, or heavy breathing from someone’s mouth to show that they are out of breath.
The high angle is when the camera is raised above the subject and is tilted down at the subject. It is often used to make the subject in the shot look smaller, weaker, or more vulnerable.
The low angle is the opposite of the high angle. It has the camera closer to the ground and points up towards the subject. It makes the subject look stronger, taller, or more threatening.
Over the Shoulder
Over the shoulder shot is when the camera is behind the subject as he/she is facing another person. It is often used to showcase confrontation between the two people in the scene. It can also be used to show one person physically interacting with the other person such as giving them an object.
The over the shoulder shot shows the movement of one person and the reaction of the other.
Point of View
The point of view shot is from the perspective of the person in the scene. The audience should be able to see what the person sees making them feel as if they were that person.
It is a more stylistic shot in comparison to the rest of the other shots but it is best used for dramatic effect.
A pan shot is when the camera is locked on a fixed point but follows the subject horizontally. It is used to either follow the subject or switch subjects in the frame. It helps the audience follow the action or main focus of the shot as if they were spectating it themselves.
A tilt shot is similar to the pan shot where the camera follows the subject while being locked onto a fixed point. However, the camera follows or switches subjects vertically.
The aerial shot is a variation of the high angle and has the camera high above the subject. It is used to show the subject in the location and make them feel small. A good example of using an aerial shot could be a person in a new location to show a contrast between the subject and the environment.
The tracking shot is similar to pan or tilt, but instead of the camera being locked on a fixed point, the camera is able to move to follow the subject. The camera can be on a crane, dolly, or held by your hand to achieve this shot.
That wraps up all of the basic camera shots and angles that you can use in your video projects. Make sure that you use a variety of camera shots in your video projects to make your videos more interesting, engaging, and entertaining. Go ahead, give it a try in your next video!
Here is a quick recap:
- Long Shot: Contains the person’s entire body in the frame.
- Medium Shot: Framed from the knees or waist up from the subject.
- Close Up: The subject’s face occupies most of the frame.
- Extreme Close Up: Used to pick up a subtle detail in one’s facial expression.
- High Angle: The camera is raised above the subject and is tilted down at the subject.
- Low Angle: The camera closer to the ground and points up towards the subject.
- Over the Shoulder: The camera is behind the subject as he/she is facing another person.
- Point of View: The perspective of the person in the scene.
- Pan: The camera is locked on a fixed point but follows the subject horizontally.
- Tilt: The camera follows the subject while being locked onto a fixed point.
- Aerial Shot: The camera is high above the subject.
- Tracking Shot: The camera is able to move to follow the subject.
At Learn to Flourish we are all about creating relevant, engaging, and effective eLearning and videos. If you want to increase the quality of your educational videos, get our free training on how to make great demonstration videos for your audience.
Wishing you inspiration, innovation, and continuous learning,
Lorena and the Learn to Flourish team
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