12 Camera Angles You Need to Know for Video and Film Parker Walbeck on camera angles for films and interviews

There are many reasons why you want to shoot multiple angles of a scene (either simultaneously or contextually related one). In this video, Parker Walbeck and Jake Weisler from fulltimefilmmaker take a look at 12 camera angles, why and when to use them.

Shooting different angles help you bring more emotion into your scenes but you need to know when to use which angle to get the result that you want. Shooting from different angles help you bring perspective to your scenes (think wide vs. close up), editing also benefit considerably when you are shooting more than one angle (you have more options to choose from and if something didn’t go well during the scene (somebody miss spoke for example) it is much easier to cut to a different angle a few seconds later).

The 12 most popular camera angles:

  1. Wide shot – usually shot with a wide-angle lens and is typically an establishing shot but can also be used to show emotion (think a person walking into the horizon or a person that is removed from his environment).
  2. Long shot – this can also be used for an establishing shot but is done using a telephoto lens from a distance (showing full body), it gives more separation from the background and is more focused on the subject.
  3. Medium shot – this is done from the waist up. This is the closest to the way we see people most of the time and create the feeling that you are actually closer to your subject.
  4. Cowboy shot – this is a shot in-between long and medium shot when you want to show something that is just below the waist (think a gun in a western).
  5. Close up shot / tight shot – used for intimate scenes when you want the viewer to focus on an expression or what your character is saying. These shots are usually done with 50-100mm lenses.
  6. Detail shot – this is an extreme close up shot, they can convey mistery or depth but can also show emotions like anxiety (think of a close up on the hands of a person during an interview moving anxiously). These are also typically shot using 50-100mm lenses (and in many cases using macro lenses).
  7. Low angle shot – this type of angle is used to make your character look bigger and more powerful although they can be used to convey wonder (think of a camera moving around a person in a large open space looking around from below).
  8. High angle shot – This does the exact opposite – making your subject look smaller or weaker.
  9. Dutch angle shot – this is a slanted point of view and it can add some interest to the shot but also some sort of uneasy motion.
  10. Over the shoulder – this angle is very popular for conversation shots and can also be used in interviews. It gives the viewer the feeling that he or she are part of the conversation.
  11. POV shot – point of view shots gives the viewer the perspective of being in the scene and is great for action sports but can be creatively utilized for horror movies and other types of scenes. This is usually shot using a wide-angle lens.
  12. Cutaway shot – This is a bit different, it is a scene of something different that takes place at the same time (in many cases this isn’t a different angle but a completely different shot – but you can shoot a car speed meter during a car chase for example).

You can watch more HDSLR and video techniques on our dedicated HDSLR channel here on LensVid. You can check out more of Walbeck videos – here on LensVid as well.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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