Low Angle Shot in Photography
Low angle shot is a shot, taken from very low camera position. This position may reach the ground level for certain shots.
When we shoot any subject from about five and a half feet camera height, the perspective is close to our own normal vision. This perspective is related with the focal length of the lens and if we use a normal lens, that is 50 mm on 35 mm film format, the photograph looks almost the same, as our normal eye view.
Low angle shot has high visual impact, as there is exaggeration in perspective. In our normal vision, we seldom see such viewing angle, and therefore the view is surprising for us. The impact is subject to focal length of the lens, we are using. A wide angle lens will increase this impact, whereas a tele lens will not make much difference.
This is because of increased distance, when we use a tele lens. As the shooting distance between the camera and subject is more, upon lowering the camera, angular shift is much less. If wide angle lens is used, then the distance between the camera and subject is much less, and in this case, when the camera is lowered, angular shift is much greater.
Low angle photos are very useful, when we have to emphasis on foreground details in landscape photography. It gives new visual perspective to buildings and monuments in architectural photography. This view is referred as a worm's eye view.
This shots are also used when we want to present a person in a 'larger than life' format, but in this case, lowering of the camera position will work only up to certain limit. In other genres of photography like food and fashion, this angle will rarely work.
Framing and composing the image is a bit difficult, as in order to see in the eye piece, we have to go down in an awkward position. In such case, old fashioned cameras with top viewing screen are more comfortable, but some 35 mm SLR cameras are equipped with a detachable penta-prism. When the penta-prism is removed, we can view the composition from top window. Digital cameras with flip-turn LCD screen has no such viewing problem.
We can use a small sturdy tripod, which can be used at about 6" height, or a regular tripod, which has a reversible center column. This will allow us to compose the frame more precisely.
Apex of low angle shot is camera facing the sky at 90 degree. Although this angle is rarely used, with extreme wide angle or a fish eye lens, we can capture the frame till horizon.
Read more about various subjects of photography
Digital photography tips
Fine art photography
Food photography tips
High angle photography
Photography in direct sun light
Royalty free stock photography
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