5 Ways to Use Low Angles in Photography

Most commonly, photographs are shot from eye level. This perspective helps the viewer connect with the subject. If you want to make the image less traditional and add some interest in the process, however, shooting from a lower angle is a good option. But how low is low? Photographer Jay P. Morgan demonstrates how you can use low angle shots to get an interesting perspective:

When we say low angle, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the camera has to hit the dirt. Anything below eye level is considered low angle. There are lots of ways you can make use of low angle shots to make an image more interesting.

1. Hero Shots

Low angle shots exaggerate your subject. It makes them look taller, stronger, authoritative—just like a hero. For fashion shots, a low angle accentuates the legs.

accentuated legs from low angle shot

2. Shots Inside a Box

You can also use low angle shots when the camera is placed inside an enclosed structure—a case or a bag for instance. If you need to create a feeling of someone opening up a box or a case and looking into it, low angle is probably your perspective of choice.

image shot from low angle

3. Reduce Background Clutter

If you feel that a background is distracting, you can get rid of distracting elements by getting low. Use the sky as your backdrop. You ma, however, face a challenge of lighting the subject’s face by when you get low. You can solve this by using a strobe or a reflector to light up the subject. Getting down low also gives you an opportunity to add foreground elements to your composition.

low angle portrait shot

4. Point of View (POV) Shots

By laying the camera low and asking your subjects to look down at it, you can create an interesting POV shot. Imagine someone lying on the ground or on a bed. This is also good for photographing surgeons and dentists or parents waking up their children. You get the idea.

low angle POV shot

5. Low Perspective B-Roll

You can even create B-rolls using low camera angles. Have your subject run, walk, ride a bike, drive by, walk their dog, or whatever suits the context, and you’ll get a fun B-roll for your video work.

low angle b-roll

As you see, having the camera down low can get you some unique perspective shots. But there’s a catch. If your camera doesn’t have a flip screen, you may need to plug in a monitor or use some other method to compose and keep an eye on whatever’s going on.

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