Activity Industry Sector
Arts, Media & Entertainment

Activity Originally Created By: Matthew Dills

Defining Camera Angles

Part of Lesson Plan: Staging

Activity Overview / Details

Break students into groups of 2-5 depending on the size of the class. Have students review the terminology below. Students will be demonstrating their understanding of some of the shot selections listed below by taking still photographs of a puppet.

Review the attachments to see visual examples of the shots listed below.

Extreme Wide (Establishing shot)-An Establishing shot sets the mood for the environment, is it outdoors, in a tall building, in a home.  Wide-Wide shots can be accomplished by framing wide or using a wide angle lens. Wide angle lenses exaggerate apparent depth giving small spaces a bigger feel.

Medium-A medium shot is a shot from the waist up of the subject. A medium shot is usually shot at eye level of the subject.

Close-up-A close up shot may include a minimal amount of the subject's shoulders but the head is the predominant feature of the shot.

Extreme Close Up-The head of the subject fills the entire frame.

Oblique/Canted-This camera angle is skewed leaving the viewer with an unsettled or off balance feeling.

The following definitions are concerned with camera height. The highest shot looking down will be considered a birds eye view, the lowest shot looking up will be referred to as a worms eye view.

We will use the hands on a clock as reference points to help us visualize the various shot heights.

Between 12:00 and 1:00 -Birds eye-A birds eye shot is a shot from above, as the name implies it could be from the perspective of a bird, plane, or helicopter, it is high up in the air.

Between 1:00 and 3:00 High Angle-A high angle looking down on a subject gives the subject the feeling of inferiority or helplessness.

3:00 is neutral angle-This shot is not conveying anything specifically about the scene but leaving the shot neutral in order for the performance to convey the message.

Between 3:00 and 5:00 is low angle-A low angle shot looking up gives the opposite feeling of the High angle shot. A low angle shot looking up gives the subject the feeling of superiority.

Between 5:00 and 6:00 is worms eye-Worms eye shots employ ultra low angles to give a unique look to the shot.




Materials / Resource