Photographic Compositions, Continued
Viewpoint is the camera position in relation to the subject. Camera angle is
the angle in which the camera is tilted. The terms viewpoint and camera
angle are often used in conjunction with one another and sometimes are
used interchangeably. They can also have different meanings depending on
how you apply them. Repositioning subjects within the viewfinder and
changing the camera angle are two simple ways to control composition.
Photographs made from ground level with the camera held horizontal to the
ground is referred to as a low viewpoint (camera position); however, the
same picture made from ground level with the camera tilted up may be
referred to as a low-camera angle. Low viewpoints and low-camera angles
can add emphasis and interest to many otherwise ordinary scenes. This type
of photograph is useful in separating subjects from backgrounds, eliminating
backgrounds and foregrounds, distorting scale, adding strength, and for
creating the illusion of greater size and speed.
A picture made from a high or elevated position with the camera held
horizontal with reference to the ground is referred to as a high viewpoint;
however, if the camera is pointed down at some angle between horizontal and
vertical, the camera position is referred to as a high-camera angle. High
viewpoints and high camera angles help orient the viewer by showing
relationships among all elements within a picture area. High viewpoints and
camera angles also minimize apparent strength and size of subjects.
Horizontally held, eye-level photographs are usually taken at a height of 5 ½
feet. With the camera tilted up or down, you have either a high- or low-
camera angle, respectively.
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