In our third part of ‘Unusual Camera Angles’, we’ll be exploring the most commonly used angle in photography of them all.
The eye level angle is a more personal view and it presents your subjects as how we’d expect to see them in real life. You’ll usually take a photo for this angle by standing up, similar to how you’d position yourself when talking, standing, or looking at your subject. The average height a photo taken from this angle will be 4 to 6 feet off the ground, comparable to the view you’ll see if you were standing up.
Distance can play a part for the eye level angle.
When taken closer to the subject, it creates a more intimate and personal feel to the photo. The point of view angle draws your audience in towards your subject’s world. Thus producing a more intimate photograph. By tying the connection between the camera and the subject, you’re allowing your audience to emotionally connect better with your subject.
If the shot is taken from a distance — e.g., a shot of a crowd at eye level, you’re putting the space of the surrounding into perspective. This shot helps you to achieve a photo with motion and a variety of emotion. The audience will feel as though they are in the crowd too, and that that is their view. If you choose to focus on one person in a sea of people, you have the chance to separate the background from your subject. This will produce a shot with no interfering background.
What you would want to achieve is a real-world view for your audience.
If you’re taking a portrait of your subject, you’ll want to portray your subjects as emotionally appealing. Making your subject appear friendly, honest, and straightforward are some a few emotional expressions that can connect your audience to your photo. By engaging your subject to an eye level shot, you’re showing them respect, that you or the audience isn’t more important than them. This gives the eye-to-eye kind of understanding in the photograph.
This shot opens up the opportunity for your audience feel that they’re sitting or standing with your subject.
In videography, using the eye level angle creates an environment that the viewers can better understand. Your subject’s facial expression, mannerism, and raw emotions will be translated better — it becomes more noticeable.
Another great thing about this angle is that it makes it easier for you to focus on the subject, making the image sharper. Paralleling your camera at the eye level of your subject grants your camera sensor to find the sharpest point of the image. If you’re using a mobile phone to capture your image, touch the screen on the subject to focus on it. This then tells the camera that that is the point where it needs to focus, this automatically blurs out the background.
Finally, if you plan to involve your audience and connect them to the story you want to portray through photography, then the eye level angle is the best way to start.