Camera Angles + Moves for Photography and Video

  1. What Are Camera Angles?
  2. Eye-Level
  3. High Angle
  4. Low Angle
  5. Bird’s Eye
  6. Slanted or “Dutch Tilt”
  7. What Are Camera Moves?
  8. Pan
  9. Tilt
  10. Dolly
  11. Pedestal
  12. Zoom


1. What Are Camera Angles? 
Camera angles are important when forming the relationship between the camera angle and the subject. Camera angles gives emotional information to viewers and guides their opinion about the subject. 


2. Eye-Level is the most common view, a real-world angle. It shows the subject as you would expect to see them in real life.

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3. High Angle shows the subject from above. The camera is angled down towards the subject (not as extreme as bird’s eye view). This has the effect of diminishing the subject, making them appear smaller, less powerful and less significant.

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4. Low Angle shows the subject from below, making them appear more powerful or dominant.

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5. Bird’s Eye shows the scene from directly above. This angle can be seen as an unnatural point of view, showing a larger picture. The Bird’s Eye View is often used in televised sporting events, documentary narratives, and movies for dramatic effect.

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6. Slanted, also known as a “Dutch tilt,” is where the camera is purposely tilted to one side so that the horizon is on an angle. This creates an interesting and dramatic effect. This angle is often used for point-of-view shots (when the camera becomes the ‘eyes’ of a character and the audience is seeing something from that character’s point of view).

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7. What Are Camera Moves? Camera moves include a wide variety of movement techniques that can be used to enhance your videos. These moves help to change perspective, show a different point of view, and even invoke emotions in your viewers. These moves are best used when there is a motivation for the move, otherwise, it can become distracting to the viewer and take away from your shot.

Using camera movements to correctly set the mood of a scene can be the difference between getting your viewer to connect to the scene through an emotional response, and your viewer feeling completely disconnected. The following link provides more in depth information about how camera movements relate to mood.


8. Pan: The camera moves from one side to another, scanning the scene horizontally. Using a mobile tripod is helpful for panning, but it is not necessary. 


9. Tilt: The camera moves up and down, scanning the scene vertically.


10. Dolly: The camera is placed on a vehicle (a car, a skateboard, etc) that moves next to the action, following the subject or a moving figure. Dolly-in means to step towards the subject with the camera, keeping the zoom the same. Dolly-out means to step backwards with the camera, also keeping the zoom the same. A dolly shot is a good way to portray movement, the journey of a character, and for filming a close up shot.


11. Pedestal: The entire camera moves up or down, without changing its vertical or horizontal axis. The lens should not be tilted.


12. Zoom: A zoom involves changing the focal length of the lens to make the subject appear closer or further away in the frame.


Additional Resources