What Is Low Angle Shot & When And How To Use It?

Low Angle Shot

Pic Credit: Vimeo Video School

Why low angle shot is so important? Many people ask me this question and that’s why I have decided to write this post about the low angle shot. Lets  first understand, what exactly is a low angle shot?

Low angle shot in filmmaking is one of the most unappropriately used shot. Low angle shot is a shot when camera is below the eye level of the subject(living) or below the object(non-living). Camera is placed below the eye level of the subject in such a way that the lens of the camera is upwards.. may or may not directly facing the eyes of the subject like a picture  above where camera is below the eye level of the man with the hammer.

There is no such hard and fast rules in filmmaking and many filmmakers break these rules often once they become expert in art and craft of filmmaking, just to experiment. But I personally believe that there is a specific meaning of everything that happens in filmmaking process. Thats why I do not like low angle shot used at unappropriate places.

So when and how to use low angle shot? When you compose a low angle shot with a subject you portray a giant like a figure.  As the camera is lower than the eye level of the subject, the subject looks taller, wider and stronger, which gives a subconscious impression that the subject is powerful. So whenever there is a situation in the film where there is a  need to show that one or more characters are powerful, low angle shot is a must. Other than showing power of the subject, there is no purpose of the low angle shot. Lets examine an example

See above picture. There are two men in the frame which is composed as an ASS/OTS( over the shoulder shot). The man facing camera has a gun in his hand which makes him powerful among the two character hence his low angle shot has been composed.

Pic Credit : PixGood.com

As fas as objects( non-living) are concerned when ever you want to show some thing larger than life a low angle shot has to be used and sometime even to create horror/tension effect also. For an example ( above picture) a  person visiting Paris first time and excited about the Eiffel Tower, which will be a larger than life event for him.

These are the only purposes of the low angle shot and other than these purposes low angle shot must be avoided.You can also read more about low angle shot HERE and Here

Thank you very much for reading this post. I hope you like it.

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