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Immortalising emotion in your photos (and understanding camera angles)

By February 6, 2018 Photography No Comments

If it seems as if photographers talk quite a bit about emotion in photography, that’s because infusing photos with emotion is the very heart of our task.

When it comes to photographs, there are two kinds of emotion: viewer emotion (how the viewer feels when they look at your photo), and photographer emotion (your backstory, the emotions and circumstances behind capturing the images).

Will every photograph you take be teeming with emotion? Hardly. That’s unrealistic. But when you find a scene or subject that is pregnant with emotional possibilities, do slow down and spend the extra effort to get the shot.

Our own mood absolutely influences the messages we create. Every time you pull out your camera, do a quick attitude check. Joy begets joy. You’ll find that when your spirits are right, your photographs are right!

Certain photos will make you feel a particular way, whether that’s a suggestive smile from your other half, twinkling eyes from your children, the colour red, deep shadows, beach shots, the open road, tempting plates of food, sunrises and sunsets, or infinity pools. Everyone has their own list of subjects that stirs their sense of beauty. It’s important to discover these subjects. Shoot them over and over again. Make a them a part of your life.

Creating an emotional connection with what you shoot is as central as it gets in photography. The greater your emotional connection to the things you photograph, the greater chance you’ll have at influencing emotion in others with those images. Angle of view, perspective, and field of view can be used to great effect to convey your emotion and evoke the viewer’s.

Normal

The camera is at the subject’s eye level. This is how we see the world with our eyes. Careful not to overuse this one, or your photos will look predictable.

Low

The camera is set below normal, shooting up. This angle can exaggerate an element to make it appear larger.

Worm’s-eye view

Very low angle, like an actual worm.

High angle

This positions the photographer above normal, shooting down. This can make the subject look smaller or less significant.

Bird’s-eye view

This is sometimes the hardest view to get. The camera is directly over the subject. It can show quite a bit of context in the frame.

Point-of-view (POV)

This shows the world through the eyes of a particular “character.” It shows the viewpoint of that person.

Dutch angle

The camera angle is tilted, not straight. It is used to create movement, redirection, or sometimes tension.

Extreme wide

The purpose here is to give a general impression of a scene.

Wide

A wide-angle shot shows the scene at life-size.

Medium

A ‘medium angle’ is common for portraits. It captures the subject from the knees or waist up, balancing content with context.

Closeup and extreme closeup

These will probably require a macro attachment for your lens. Remember, if you get too close to your subject, you’ll likely accentuate and exaggerate features.

The Joy of iPhotography is Jack Hollingsworth’s guide to the best ways to approach every possible subject with your iPhone, offering tips as clear and simple as the iPhone’s interface.
Additionally you’ll see some great effects that you won’t find in Instagram (but your followers will love).

The Joy of iPhotography, Jack HollingsworthThe Joy of iPhotography
Jack Hollingsworth

 
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RRP for print edition: £9.99
 
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