By: Lindsey Curran

So you know the basics of cinematography, but you’re having a hard time thinking of ways to give your shot a little more stylistic punch. What can you do?Well, next time you’re watching a favorite film, start thinking about the different camera angles you’re seeing. Unlike your eyes, a camera isn’t fixed in a certain position at a certain height off the ground. Developments in technology have made it possible for a camera to go just about anywhere. Here are just a few ways to start getting a little more adventurous with your cinematography.

1. High Angles
Get up on a ladder; shoot out a window, from a helicopter, anything. A birds-eye view allows a perspective that is completely new and different from what we are used to seeing. High angles can also be used to make the subject of a shot look smaller and more diminutive, enabling you to influence how the viewer perceives the subject.

2. Low Angles

Orson Welles once dug a hole in the floor on the set of Citizen Kane so that he could shoot Leland and Kane from floor level in a scene. Low angle shots, like a high angle, can provide a brand new perspective on a scene. Low angle shots also make the subject look like its towering over you, gigantic and intimidating.

3. Canted Angles
Who says your horizon has to be perfectly level? Directors like Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton use canted angles frequently in their films, and even the 2008 Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire makes extensive use of canted angle shots. Canted angles, in addition to being visually striking, can also emphasize a sense of disorientation or alienation in the subject of the shot.

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