Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (2022)

A low-angle shot is a shot in which the camera angle is positioned below the eye line of the subject, pointing upward. An extreme low-angle shot is positioned below the subject’s feet, offering a sharper contrast in the shot.

A low-angle shot in a film can convey a number of emotions or feelings about the subject in the frame. It can also break up the visuals, adjusting the feeling and mood of a scene.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (1)

Scene from “Inglorious Bastards

Understanding how to use the low-angle shot and its best applications can help you make the most of this technique as you set up your scenes.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (2)

Scene from “The Invisible Man (1933)

How to Use the Low-Angle Shot

As you consider your shot list and how to set up each scene, you may want to include low-angle shots to convey power, vulnerability, perceived height, or a combination of these elements. It’s a versatile shot that can create different feelings and emotions in viewers.

Low Angles Can Convey Power

Using a low-angle shot can convey power in a character, whether for good or for bad. In “Raising Arizona,” the low-angle shot showcases the power of the Biker who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

(Video) Eni ti o nfi okunkun da mu re

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (3)

Scene from “Raising Arizona

In “The Matrix” franchise, the low-angle shot used to show the agents conveys that these men are in a position of power. It also frames the shot from the perceived point of view of the main character, Neo, who would typically be sitting in the visible cubicle on a workday.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (4)

Scene from “The Matrix

You can see this shot in effect in the clip below.

Low Angle Can Convey Vulnerability

In addition to showcasing a person or group of people in power, a low-angle shot can also convey that the person in the frame is vulnerable, trapped, or under attack, like this shot from “300”:
Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (5)

Scene from “300

Another example is evident in “Mission: Impossible,” where the Dutch angle combined with a low angle shows the claustrophobic, trapped feeling of the scene.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (6)

Scene from “Mission: Impossible

It’s an interesting contradiction to the ability of the shot to convey a person in power. Juxtaposing low angles with high angles can also create feelings of vulnerability.

Low Angles Increase Perceived Height

When shooting from lower, the height of what’s above in the shot looks taller or higher. You can combine this effect with miniature props to create a more dramatic effect. The lower you go, the higher the perceived height will be in the shot.

4 Ways to Use a Low-Angle Shot

When properly executed, a low-angle shot can help reveal aspects of the narrative, build tension, and convey the emotional state of the subject, all without words.

(Video) Ultimate Guide to Camera Angles: Every Camera Shot Explained [Shot List, Ep. 3]

The Classic Subtle Hero

A subtle low-angle shot often sits just below the subject’s eye line, forcing the audience to look up. It helps to highlight the hero in the scene.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (7)

Scene from “Moonrise Kingdom

The Extreme Low Angle

An extreme low-angle shot is a bold choice, potentially showing the perspective of a child or someone who is experiencing substantial fear.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (8)

Scene from “Home Alone 2

The Low-Angle Dolly Push

Combining a low angle with a dolly push can help to build dramatic tension, create a more cinematic experience, or introduce an important character with movement. Even a slight push with a dolly-mounted camera can add drama for the shot’s entire length.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (9)

Scene from “Godless

Low-Angle Establishing Shot

An establishing shot shows the audience a new location, character, or other element of the narrative. When combined with a lower camera angle, the establishing shot can showcase the magnitude of the scenery, making the audience feel vulnerable or in wonderment. It can also make the audience feel part of the story as opposed to outside or above it, like with a high-angle establishing shot.

Examples of Low-Angle Shots

You’ll see low-angle shot examples throughout films and TV shows.

Breaking Bad

The main character in “Breaking Bad,” Walter White, was often shot at a lower angle during the show’s run to show his transition from a weak, ill character to a strong and powerful one. The low-angle shots are particularly interesting to viewers when combined with a point of view shot, providing access to White’s mindset and lab.

Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino, the director of “Pulp Fiction” and many other cult films, often uses trunk shots to set up a lower camera angle. In “Pulp Fiction,” you’ll see the shot when the characters open the trunk of a vehicle to pull out their weapons.

(Video) Hyliion ($HYLN) Receives Production Order For 10 Hypertruck ERX Units From NFI

Tarantino also used the trunk shot in “Reservoir Dogs, when the antagonists place a character in the trunk of the car and show that individual’s point of view. As a result of this frequently used low-angle shot, the trunk shot in other films establishes strength and confidence in characters.
Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (10)

Scene from “Reservoir Dogs”

Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane,” a critically acclaimed classic, showcases instances of the low-angle shot as well. Throughout the film, the audience sees Kane shot from below, sometimes even at an extremely low angle. The purpose of the low angle is to showcase his ambitions at the height of his power.

Bad Boys

Michael Bay is another director known for his unique spin on low-angle shots, known as the “Michael Bay 360 Shot.” This circular camera movement often happens alongside characters grasping the magnitude of a situation or experiencing a big reveal. You can see it in “Bad Boys” and a number of other Bay films.

Here’s another compilation of this epic shot:

Full Metal Jacket

In most of the scenes of “Full Metal Jacket,” we see the drill sergeant at eye level.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (11)

Scene from “Full Metal Jacket”

When he focuses on Private Joker, one of the main characters in the storyline, the angle moves lower to put the audience in Joker’s point of view to generate a dominated feeling.

Star Wars

In the early films in the “Star Wars” franchise, Darth Vader was a frightening and imposing villain for several reasons, one of which is the way filmmakers captured him on the screen. Most of the scenes that include Vader shoot him from a low angle, making him look taller and more physically dominant.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (12)

(Video) 5 Inexpensive Morph Boa Constrictors

Scene from “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back


In “Matilda,” the audience sees elements of the world from the title character’s perspective. Since she’s a child, many of the shots feature a lower camera angle that puts adults higher in the frame.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (13)

Scene from “Matilda”

The Dark Knight

Many of the shots of the Joker in “The Dark Knight” feature a lower angle, emphasizing the indestructible nature of this villain, as well as his sincerity. One of the most memorable uses of this film technique is in the scene when Batman flips his truck, showing the crazed, wild nature of the Joker from below.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (14)

Scene from “The Dark Knight”


While most low-angle shots include people, this technique can also showcase other objects and even settings. In “Psycho,” the wide low-angle shot of the mansion establishes its presence in the storyline with an ominous, disconcerting sense. The TV series, “Bates Motel,” often uses the same technique to present the setting.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (15)

Scene from “Psycho”

There Will Be Blood

Used thematically, the low-angle shots in “There Will Be Blood” juxtapose the authority of one of the main characters with the humiliation he experiences from a preacher.

Low Angle Shot: Everything You Need to Know - NFI (16)

Scene from “There Will Be Blood”

View additional examples of low-angle shots in popular films.

Plan Your Low Angle Shots Better

As you consider how you plan to shoot low-angle shots, think about how to add complexity. Moving, either through tracking with the camera mounted on a dolly or a maneuverable tripod, can adjust the shot and make it more engaging to the audience. The backdrop can also impact the final scene.

(Video) OHM 2013: Forensic Hardware Hacking @NFI

If you’re interested in learning more about using low angle shots and other shots in your films, apply to Nashville Film Institute to gain professional qualifications as a filmmaker.


How do you shoot a low-angle shot? ›

For an extreme low-angle shot, lay the camera on the ground and shoot using a small tripod and manual shutter. Or crouch down or lay on the floor. Another essential accessory to use is a remote control or time-release controller to take photographs.

What is a low-angle shot in photography? ›

A low angle shot is any type of shot that comes from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical axis — in other words, any angle below the average eye line — and looking up. A low angle shot can vary from just a few inches below a subject all the way to the ground, directly below a subject's feet.

What effect does a low-angle shot have? ›

In cinematography, a low-angle shot, is a shot from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical axis, anywhere below the eye line, looking up. Sometimes, it is even directly below the subject's feet. Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot is that it makes the subject look strong and powerful.

What does a low-angle shot tell the audience? ›

It's often used to make the viewer feel that they are close to the action. Low angle shot - The camera points upwards, usually making the subject or setting seem grand or threatening. High angle shot - The camera looks down, making the subject look vulnerable or insignificant.

How do you do a low angle? ›

To film a low-angle shot, you must position the camera below the eye level of your subject. In many cases, camera operators will sit or even lie on the ground to film a subject above them. Directors may also position actors on risers to make them appear higher up.

How do you draw someone from a low angle? ›

LOW ANGLE LADIES (How to Draw Perspective) - YouTube

Why are angles important in photography? ›

Angles in photography, intentionally used, define voice, presence and visual purpose. The angle chosen to capture a scene defines the commentary of the artist.

What is the meaning of angle shot? ›

Definition of angle shot

: a picture taken with the camera pointed at an angle from the horizontal.

How many types of camera shots are there? ›

There are three different types of basic camera shots which include: the close-up, medium shot, and the long shot.
  • Close-up. A close-up shot is a shot taken of a person or object at a close range, in order to capture the minute details of the subject. ...
  • Medium Shot. ...
  • Long Shot.

What is a bird's eye view shot? ›

An overhead shot is when the camera is placed directly above the subject. It's somewhere around a 90-degree angle above the scene taking place. Overhead shots are also called a bird view, bird's eye view, or elevated shot.

What is full shot? ›

A wide shot, also called a long shot or a full shot, is a shot that shows the subject within their surrounding environment. A wide shot tells the audience who is in the scene, where the scene is set, and when the scene takes place.

What type of film angle suggests vulnerability or weaknesses? ›

1. High-Angle. A high-angle shot is a cinematography technique where the camera points down on the subject from above. This type of shot is used to make the subject or object below seem vulnerable, powerless, or weak.

How do camera angles tell a story? ›

A camera angle is the position of the camera when a shot is taken. Different angles can add and induce different meanings and level of engagement for the audience. Selecting the appropriate camera angle for each shot can add moods to the recorded picture and create powerful relationships with your audience.

How do you describe camera angles? ›

Camera Angles
  1. Eye level – camera points straight ahead. Intention is to be objective.
  2. Low angle – camera points up from a lower angle. ...
  3. High angle – camera points down from a higher angle. ...
  4. Dutch – tilted angle. ...
  5. Over the shoulder (OTS) – not strictly an angle, but it's a specialized shot that deserves its own place.
25 Feb 2019

How do camera angles affect the audience? ›

High and Low angles

The effect of shooting at a higher or lower angle is to force the viewer to literally look up at the dominant character and look down at the inferior character. Shooting up at a character makes them appear bigger, taller, and stronger, which psychologically makes them feel more dominant.

Why do photographers use a low angle? ›

Low angle shot is a shot in which the camera is placed below the eye level, near the ground, and aimed upwards to capture the subject. Since these shots are taken from a different angle, they add attractive details to the setting. Low angle shots make your subject appear larger, wider, taller, and closer.

How do I find the best photo angle? ›

Get in front of a mirror or, better yet, a camera, and get a very close-up shot (head and shoulders). You can even use your smartphone to record or take still photos. Slowly change directions and angles of your face to see how it reads on-camera. Turn your head slowly from one side to another in each direction.

How do you take long pictures? ›

Place your product against white surfaces and use a soft overhead light.
  1. Use a focal length of 50mm or greater. Tucker suggests using around 70mm. ...
  2. Set the f-stop to f/10 or above. ...
  3. Use a low ISO and a shutter speed that works with your camera and flash. ...
  4. Take a test shot.

How do you draw a 3d perspective? ›

How to Draw in Two Point Perspective: 3D Building - YouTube

How do you draw a good character? ›

6 Character Design Tips
  1. Know your target audience. The project's demographic will help determine the simplicity or complexity of the character design. ...
  2. Practice world-building. ...
  3. Understand shape language. ...
  4. Explore the character's personality. ...
  5. Experiment with color. ...
  6. Keep it simple.
19 Jul 2021

How do you shoot an angle? ›

12 CAMERA ANGLES to Enhance Your Films - YouTube

What is called angle? ›

What is an angle? In Plane Geometry, a figure which is formed by two rays or lines that shares a common endpoint is called an angle. The word “angle” is derived from the Latin word “angulus”, which means “corner”. The two rays are called the sides of an angle, and the common endpoint is called the vertex.

What is the purpose of angles? ›

Angles are important to defining and studying polygons such as triangles and quadrilaterals. They are used in a variety of disciplines, ranging from animation to carpentry to physics.

What are angled shots called? ›

A Dutch angle (known as a Dutch tilt, canted angle, or oblique angle) is a type of camera shot that has a noticeable tilt on the camera's “x-axis.” It's a camera technique that was used by the German Expressionists in the 1920s — so it's not actually Dutch.

What's in an angle shot? ›

noun Movies, Photography. a picture taken with the camera pointed obliquely at the subject, sometimes causing distortion of perspective and proportion.

What is extreme angle? ›

Extreme angle is a term that is generally used to denote any angle of view that is outside the way we normally look at an object. For example, to take a photograph looking up at a person from below their feet would be considered and extreme angle.

What is shot size in film? ›

Shot size means how much of the scene is included in the picture, and whether it mainly shows the setting, people in the setting, or details of faces and things. It's important to use different shot sizes in your movie.

What is the master shot? ›

A master shot is the principal camera shot that a director and cinematographer use when filming a particular scene. It covers all of the important action in a scene, including the major characters and scenic points of interest. For this reason, master shots are almost always wide shots.

What are the 6 camera angles? ›

6 Common Types of Camera Angles (Shot Framing)
  • Close up.
  • Extreme close up.
  • Wide-angle shot.
  • Medium shot.
  • Over the shoulder shot.
  • Point of view shot.
24 Jul 2022

What is God's eye view? ›

God's eye view is a name for a point of view where the speaker or writer assumes they have knowledge only God would have. It appears several ways: In religion, when an institution claims to speak for a divine being.

Whats a Dutch angle shot? ›

Also known as the Dutch Tilt, German Angle, canted angle, canted camera, or oblique angle, the technique consists of an angled camera shot where the horizon line isn't parallel with the bottom of the frame, and vertical lines are at an angle to the side of the frame.

What are the five basic camera angles? ›

5 basic types of Camera Angles
  • Eye-level shot. The first camera angle is the eye-level shot or neutral shot where the subject is in eye level. ...
  • High angle shot. This is the shot where the camera is placed in a higher position looking down the subject. ...
  • Low angle shot. ...
  • Over the shoulder. ...
  • Dutch angle shot.
5 Oct 2020

What are shot types? ›

Shot typesEstablishing shotWide shot or long shot (WS or LS)Mid shot or medium shot (MS)Two-shotOver the shoulder (OTS)Close up (CU)Extreme close-up (ECU)

How long is a shot? ›

“Ok, here is where the term shot or shackle comes from and the length of a shackle was revised in 1949 to be the same length as a shot,” he tweeted in 2018. “A shot, one of the forged lengths of chain joined by shackles to form an anchor cable, was usually 15 fathoms long (90 feet (27.4 m)).”

Why is it called a cowboy shot? ›

What Is a Cowboy Shot? A cowboy shot is a camera angle in filmmaking that frames its subject from the mid-thigh, just below hip level, to the top of their head. This shot derives its name from its use in Western films, where filmmakers kept both the actor's face and guns slung around their waist in the frame.

What type of angle shots make characters feel more important? ›

Overhead shot/high-angle shot.

When taken from extreme angles, overhead shots can generate a feeling of terror or tension in the viewer, igniting humans' natural fear of falling from heights. On a character-level, high-angle shots can offer the audience insight into how a character is feeling.

Which type of shot is best for showing emotions? ›

A close-up shot is a type of camera shot size in film and television that adds emotion to a scene. It tightly frames an actor's face, making their reaction the main focus in the frame.

What type of camera angle makes a subject look powerful and imposing? ›

11. Low angle. A low angle shot is taken from below the subject's eye line, pointing upwards. This camera angle makes a subject look powerful and imposing.

What is normal camera angle? ›

Normal Angle - This angle is usually set at at eye level of the subject and gives the audience a natural or normal feel for the scene. Use this angle when there are no abnormalities or distractions in the scene.

How do you shoot scenes with different angles? ›

How to Film a Dialogue Scene: Angles, Framing & Rule of Thirds - YouTube

Why is point of view important in film? ›

Point of view shots give audiences a view from a character's perspective by positioning the camera right where the character's eyes would be. These shots cast an illusion of access to a character's inner life, which makes POV shots very popular in TV and film.

Which is the most used camera angle? ›

Eye Level Shot

One of the most commonly used camera angles, an eye level shot is used in the film-making world to establish a sense of neutrality between a character and its environment.

How many angles are there in photography? ›

There we go, 8 common and creative angles for you to think about the next time you go shooting. Remember though not all angles work for every subject, but if you're in a creative rut then trying out a few different angles with the same subject could inspire something great!

How do camera angles create mood? ›

When taken from extreme angles, overhead shots can generate a feeling of terror or tension in the viewer, igniting humans' natural fear of falling from heights. On a character-level, high-angle shots can offer the audience insight into how a character is feeling.

What is a medium shot camera angle? ›

Also called a waist shot or a mid-shot, a medium shot in film and tv is a type of camera shot that shows the subject from the waist up. Medium shots draw attention to both the character and their surroundings by giving them equal space in the frame.

How do you take weird angle photos? ›

You can try wideangle lenses, fisheye lenses, telephoto lenses, macro lenses, and converters (if you own an advanced point and shoot). Here are a few ways you can use these attachments to shift your viewpoint. Perhaps the most commonly used lenses for creating unusual angles are the wideangle and fisheye lenses.

What is a high angle shot used for? ›

The high angle shot informs the viewer that the subject feels vulnerable or is of lower status than something or someone around them. It can also imply imminent danger and tension. Alternatively, high angle shots can establish a scene and present the scale of things.

What is the purpose of an eye level shot? ›

An eye level shot is exactly what it sounds like — a shot where the camera is positioned directly at a character or characters' eye level. Considered to be a “neutral” camera angle, its function is not to distort or over-dramatize a scene but rather to give the viewer a very familiar perspective.

How do you take a picture with a wide angle lens? ›

Wide-angle lenses distort the most in the corners, so someone in the corner of a photo becomes noticeably distorted. This is particularly true with shorter focal lengths (15mm can distort more than 30mm). In general, always keep people near the center of your frame when shooting wide-angle.


1. Small in size, big in impact: Can NFI work for SMEs?
(Accountancy Europe)
2. "NFI What's the Box" - Mystery Package & Catch-up
3. Seismic Induced Flow Failures of Mine Tailings Including a Failure Case History from Chile
(Digital Commons @ Montana Tech)
4. N.F.I – Don’t Talk To Me feat. Riton & Faangs (Official Video)
5. 3 Wide Shots That Every Filmmaker Needs to Know
(Pastor Tunde Bamigboye - WAKATI ITUSILE)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated: 11/24/2022

Views: 5883

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.