Camera Angles

by William Lulow

Here’s a tip that many photographers don’t follow: look for different camera angles when shooting certain subjects.

Subjects like the human face can roughly be divided into three zones: the chin to just below the nose is one, nose to eyebrows is two and eyebrows to top of forehead is the third. By varying your camera angle, you can emphasize or de-emphasize each zone. If a person has a large forehead, say, you might want to shoot him/her from a lower-than-normal position to de-emphasize the forehead. If a person was jowly or had a “turkey neck”, you might want to shoot that person from a higher angle to make them stretch and thus smooth out the neck.

So, the lesson is, use your camera angle to emphasize parts of the photograph to which you wish to draw attention. In the example below, the intent was to make the subject look tall and thin. The camera was placed almost on the ground.

Many photographers simply hold the camera up to their eye and always shoot from that angle without thinking about other possible angles. This is one reason I like the Canon EOS 60D, or any camera with a moveable LCD screen. This allows the photographer more interesting angles from which to shoot.