Types of Photography Shots

Types of Photography Shots featured image

Photography is a potent art form because it allows us to keep memories forever. The versatility of photography lies in its ability to capture and communicate a wide range of feelings, thoughts, and points of view.

A photographer's work can benefit from understanding the numerous sorts of photography shots and when to employ each one. This article explores some of the widely used types of photography shots.

What is a camera shot?

What is a camera shot

A camera shot comprises a series of frames taken continuously from the moment the camera begins rolling to the moment it stops.

Using various shots, angles, and camera movements is essential to filmmaking and video production.

This is because the filmmakers can emphasize particular feelings, ideas, and movements in each scene by combining a variety of shots, camera angles, and camera movements.

Below are the various types of photography shots for your use.

1. Cut-ins/insert shots

insert shots photography

The hands and feet of a subject are some of the more minor elements captured in close-up shots. Whenever a character is seen looking at a text message on their phone, the director may want to get a tight camera shot of the phone screen.

The cutaway of this camera shot is the antithesis of the cut-in in that it skips from the topic to something else. For example, it might transition from an actor's startled facial to a dog's barking or from a ball crossing the goal line to supporters cheering in the stands.

Putting together many views of the same scene from different camera angles can benefit from having a collection of photos such as these.

2. Point-of-view shots

Point-of-view shots

In a point-of-view or POV shot, the camera is placed inside the subject's brain, and the camera shot is taken from their perspective, so the viewer sees the world through their eyes.

The camera shot, which represents the perspective of a character, can move in any way that the subject can.

Think about the pov shot produced by helmets equipped with GoPro cameras to get an idea of how powerful and potentially unpleasant these pictures may be for the audience.

But, because they reflect the immediacy of real-life situations, they can also serve as the basis for compelling narratives. When it comes to the creation of sequence camera angles, POV shots can become beneficial.

3. Dutch angle shots

Dutch angle shots

In a Dutch angle shot, the camera is positioned at a diagonal tilt, giving the scene an unsettling, lopsided appearance that implies something is amiss.

In Terry Gilliam's films from the 1990s, including The Fisher King, 12 Monkeys, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Dutch angles often symbolize the characters' disorientation and mental instability in a darkly comic manner.

4. Close-up

Close-up types of photography shots

A close-up shot is taken of a person or object at a close range to catch the minute details of the subject.

This type of camera shot can be used for a variety of purposes. This view is frequently employed to frame a character's face for the audience to perceive what type of emotion is transmitted; hence the camera shot angle is tightly bound and takes up most of the screen.

The close-up shot not only serves as a device that may convey a character's emotional state of mind but can also be used to reveal particulars or information about the objects or the environment in which the movie is taking place.

5. Medium shot

If a shot was taken about midway between the subject and the camera, we call it a full shot or a medium or waist shot.

Since medium shot provides a clear picture of each individual in the film, it is frequently utilized for communication between characters inside a scene.

The "sweet spot" camera shot is the one that captures your subject in all its glory while also giving you a good look at the environment in which the action unfolds.

Thus, a medium shot might aid the audience in visualizing the characters' actions and expressions in the film's setting.

6. Worm’s-Eye view

Worms-eye view

The subject or item photographed is seen from underneath using a worm's-eye view camera angle.

It is a technique frequently utilized to place tall features of the landscape, such as trees or buildings, into perspective.

This kind of photograph is typically taken from the camera points in the subject's perspective.

7. Tracking Shot

Tracking Shot photography

This photography shot has to deal with the camera's movement. A tracking shot follows the character in the scene without regard to the composition or camera angle, or zoom shot.

It is also called the dolly shot if it was created with a dolly. Nevertheless, tracking shots are not always started with a doll; sometimes, they are made with a Steadicam, a crane shot, or a boom.

As the camera follows the character as they move away from the scene, this view is called a forward tracking shot. Instead, we will use a reverse tracking shot when the character approaches the camera, which will pull back to keep the same distance as an establishing shot.

8. Long Shot

Long Shot types of photography shots

In the film, the long shot, often called the broad view, is frequently employed as an establishing shot because it typically establishes the scene and the character's place.

This long shot captures the complete length of the subject and a significant portion of the surrounding environment.

It's no secret that long images have been used to create some of cinema's most memorable and enduring moments. The long shot is widely used among the types of camera shots by professionals

Also, if a movie is shot entirely in long shots, it might create a barrier between the screen and the audience. Examples include the 2019 Best Picture winner Roma, shot entirely in long takes.

This kind of filmmaking prevents the viewer from feeling like they are a part of the tale being delivered and instead makes them seem detached onlookers. 

8. Pan Photography Shot

Pan Photography Shots

"Panning" refers to the camera's motion along a horizontal plane. A pan shot involves the camera moving horizontally rather than vertically.

Common uses for this style of camera shot include showing the progression of action or giving the audience a feeling of where they are in the story.

9. Cowboy shots

Cowboy shots

In the 1930s, American filmmakers began employing a technique of medium cowboy shots that came to be known as cowboy shots.

This cowboy shot depicted gunslingers from the top of their hats to the middle of their thighs, including their holsters.

In contemporary movies, cowboy shots allow directors to capture a subject's facial expressions, body language, and surroundings.

10. Extreme Close-Up

Extreme Close-Up

A photo is considered an extreme close-up shot when a person's face takes up most of the visible space in the camera's viewfinder.

Simply put, the subject is either exhibited at a large scale, cropping their face out of the frame, or shown at a tiny scale, leaving only the person's body in view.

Choker is another term for a shot in which the subject is framed so that their upper body is visible, but their lower face is obscured.

Nothing beats an extreme close-up shot to portray the depth of sensation your subject is experiencing without the character having to say anything.

Extreme close-up shots, like conventional close-ups, can direct the viewer's attention to a specific object or motif that plays a significant role in the film's plot.

11. Extreme Long Shot

Extreme Long Shot

An extremely long or wide shot is achieved when the camera is positioned so far away from the subject that the background becomes more prominent than the subject.

The extreme long shot is an establishing shot used in movies to inform the audience of the story's setting. In addition, the scope of the action can be emphasized through a highly wide-shot picture.

This wide-angle perspective is typical in war movies since it provides a comprehensive action overview.

Even though close-ups, medium shots, and long views are the three cornerstones of basic camera shots, several variants within each image can combine the effects of the various common camera shots.

12. Dolly Photography Shot

Dolly Photography Shots

For a shoot using a dolly, the camera is mounted on a wheeled device and moved back and forth in a controlled manner.

A camera dolly is a term used to refer to the actual apparatus. Dolly shots typically follow a subject as they move about the area, moving in front of or behind the subject most of the time.

13. Truck Photography Shot

Truck shots are shots in which the camera is mounted to a device that runs smoothly along a horizontal track. This camera shot is referred to as a "truck shot."

These basic camera shots are utilized most of the time to follow an action or guide the viewer through a scenario.

Viewers are given the impression that they are moving through the scene themselves as a direct result of the fact that the camera itself is moving.

14. Pedestal Photography

Pedestal Photography Shots

A pedestal shot is achieved vertically, panning the camera on a stationary pedestal. These adjustments allow for a shift in the audience's sigh level while keeping the viewing angle constant.

Because the camera is not fixed in one place, the emphasis of camera shot angles on the entire frame shifts and previously unseen elements.

15. Roll Shot in Photography

A roll camera movement involves rotating the camera on its vertical axis to get the desired effect. When taking pictures of this kind, the camera remains fixed on the same subject throughout.

Because of this, the footage has been rotated over an angle of up to 180 degrees. This movement is frequently utilized in action scenes or to convey a sense of nausea and disorientation.

16. Master shots

Master shots photography

Wide shots are the ones that are typically used to capture all of the activity that is taking place in a particular scene.

These film shots are essential images for basic coverage because they document everything that happens.

By switching to the scene's master shot whenever there is a lull in the action or the dialogue, editors can give a location room to breathe.

What Are the Different Angle Shots in Film?

Rather than indicating the size and spatial awareness, advanced camera shots show the camera's angle and location.

These views are typically employed to alter the film's mood or narrative rather than to signal size and spatial awareness.

1. High-Angle

High-Angle Photography Shots

When the camera is pointed at the subject from above, it is called a high-angle shot. The high-angle shot conveys a sense of helplessness or weakness in the subject or object at ground level.

The employment of this camera position typically signifies the camera's superiority over the subject, as seen most frequently in horror films.

An elevated viewpoint also signals impending danger, melancholy, or shock with a high-angle shot.

By placing the viewer at eye level with the protagonist or a shoulder-level shot of the antagonist, a high-angle shot asserts the viewer's position as the 'powerful' viewpoint character.

A bird's-eye view of the action from a high vantage point can also help the audience better understand the film's setting, which may alter their impression of the picture for the better.

2. Low-Angle

Low-Angle photography shots

A low-angle shot occurs when the camera is positioned low on the vertical axis, below the eye-line, and looks up at an object or subject above.

This camera angle produces a psychological effect by making the subject, positioned above the camera, appear solid and imposing.

In addition, using a low-angle shot can make the "hero" of your film appear fragile, allowing the audience to empathize with a typically unstoppable figure.

Another popular application of this low-angle shot is to raise the perceived height of an object; when anything is filmed from a low angle, it appears far taller than it is.

3. Over the Shoulder

Over the Shoulder photography shot

The over-the-shoulder shot is typically utilized in the film when two or more characters are conversing over-the-shoulder shots.

This view is typically framed in a medium or close-up and intended to establish the direction in which each character in the scene looks.

You can use this shot to show the audience that one character in the film has an insight that others don't.

By manipulating the scene's depth of field, you can direct the audience's gaze to an object in the background that the protagonist sees first-hand.

In this situation, we'd employ a deep depth of field by intentionally blurring the foreground and sharpening the backdrop. In other instances, the camera viewpoint shifts to reflect a recasting of the characters' dynamics. 

4. Bird’s Eye

Birds Eye Photography Shots

When the camera is positioned high above the ground and looks down on the activity below, we have what is known as an overhead shot, a bird's eye view shot, or an aerial shot.

Nowadays, a drone is a tool for getting an aerial shot of a scene like this. Bird's eye shots are used as both establishing shots and camera shots to establish the film's location and as transition shots to depict what is happening in a place from an aerial perspective in various film genres.

In movies where the setting of each scene is crucial to the story, these camera shots are frequently employed. Even though this perspective can be captured on a drone, a bird's eye shot can also be taken from the top of a structure or building, such as a bridge or skyscraper. 

5. Dutch Angle/Tilt

Dutch Angle photography shot

The Dutch angle or tilt is less of a specialized technique and more of an artistic approach to filmmaking.

It is necessary to tilt your camera to one side to accomplish this, resulting in an image that is not perfectly level.

This particular camera angle is typically utilized to generate a dramatic effect inside a film. It can evoke a wide shot and range of feelings in the audience.

The Dutch viewpoint has the potential to increase both psychological distress and tension, which, in turn, generates an atmosphere in the film that creates suspense and a sense of exhilaration.

In addition, shooting a scene from this perspective might give the impression to the audience that they are lost in the story, uncomfortable, and even drunk.

Instead of demonstrating a sense of space, these innovative camera moves and shots are utilized in movies to evoke a certain feeling or impact.

Cinematographers will outline how they want each scene to be shot in a film using a "shot list" before principal photography begins.

Be sure to use a handful of these camera angles in your next cinematic masterpiece to communicate the story's point better.

Elevating The Look of Your Film

Elevating The Look of Your Film

You need to make sure you can capture your material in the best possible quality, and you also want to make the most of these various camera angles to improve the tone of your next film.

To do this, a variable ND filter can give your film a more polished cinematic aesthetic. When shooting on location, a VND filter is essential for maintaining a smooth workflow by allowing the user to adjust the shutter speed independently of the ambient light.

Additionally, a variable ND filter enables you to modify on the fly by merging numerous stops into one filter element, making it simple to adapt to different settings without bringing many ND filters to each shoot.

Filming using a variable ND filter also allows you to control the depth of field, which is useful when focusing on a specific object or topic within a larger scene.

Capturing Stunning Aerial Footage

Whether aiming to record spectacular footage on the ground or in the air, you must always get the most out of your equipment.

The most straightforward approach is to install a neutral density (ND) filter on your drone, as these filters may be used to reduce the effects of ultraviolet (UV) pollution from above.

This haze is especially noticeable at higher elevations when it produces blinding sunlight. A neutral density (ND) filter will help you eliminate the glare and get a clearer picture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most commonly used camera shots in a film?

The three shots utilized most frequently in the film are medium-long shots, medium, and close-ups.

This is partly because these images are the essential components required to convey a story and partly because certain best camera shots that fall into the long, medium, or medium close-up categories are also another sort of photo, such as a medium two-shot or a low-angle close-up view.

Why are different camera angles used?

It would be best to use different camera angles to refocus the audience's attention on what is most important to tell the story at other moments.

This is in addition to the obvious reasons, such as that a movie comprises multiple scenes in different locations and that it is insanely difficult to pull off one-takes even for ten minutes, let alone the entire length of a feature.

How many types of shots are there?

Shot lengths can often be categorized as either long, medium, or close. Long shots (or Wide shots) are wide-angle views that focus on the entire scene rather than more than one person or a specific part, while close-ups concentrate on a particular aspect of the topic or a character's expression.

Why are Camera Shots Important?

The camera shots in a movie are the fundamental components that make up the whole. The order in which those shots are played dramatically affects how the audience understands what's happening on screen. We must select the right imageshot for our film to be effectively communicated.

What is the most important part of the camera, and why?

The camera's viewfinder is crucial to take good pictures. It's the piece of your camera that you look through to see your subject and compose the shot. Some viewfinders are digitally rendered, displaying information such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO before you shoot the photo.


The article has presented a series of camera shots. These camera shots are suitable to meet different photography needs. From the explained camera shots type, you will always find the ones ideal for your preference or your client if you are a professional photographer.

Ryan Mills
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