In cell phone photography there are different ways to tell the story using depth. We can use lighting, distance, perspective, and camera angles. Camera angles can create very intriguing stories. Most photos are taken at eye level but changing the angle of your smartphone can drastically improve your photography. In drawing, it is hard to create depth, but by using perspective we can create images that have depth. This is done by choosing a vanishing point and drawing diagonal lines leading to the point. This creates depth in the image, in photography; the image is created by paying attention to where these lines are. It is the key to better composure and great cell phone photography.
The Best Angles to Take a Selfie
- Finding the best angle to take a selfie takes practice and knowing your preference and style. Experiment with every angle to find the best one. A little above your nose is usually the best spot to take a selfie because it doesn’t distort the eyes or the forehead.
- It is said by many selfie gurus that taking a selfie from above or at a 45 degree angle is the best way to take a selfie. This is a great approach and it works great for groups or images where you want to show the background. One thing to note is that whatever is closer to the lens will look bigger in the image. This can create slightly distorted eyes, forehead, or chin.
- When taking a selfie, note that centering the camera the middle will show all your features exactly as they look in real life. This is why driver’s licenses and passport photos are taken this way. This may be realistic but may not be the most flattering or creative approach.
- Also the angle of your face can improve your selfie. Try different angles and different sides of your face to find your favorite. Often, tilting your head a bit can greatly improve your image.
Angles for Shooting Rooms, Animals, and Kids
When shooting a room, it is best to shoot at mid level around your waist. Then the focus can be directly on the furniture or a vase on a coffee table. This will show the object centered and there will be an equal amount of the space below and the space above. This won’t over exaggerate any objects. The best way to take a great shot of kids or animals is to get on the same level as the subject. If you are shooting animals or babies get really low, potentially lying on the ground. Be close to the subject so that the shot fills most of the frame when the picture is taken. It may be hard to get a picture where the subject is not moving but smartphones have some great ways to solve this problem with burst mode or live view.
Top Down Shooting with a Smartphone
Take a moment to think of what types of images look best when shot from overhead. Images from above are often called flat lay images which are used in food and product photography to show the shape and vibe of the subject. Height is a way to change the angle and helps you achieve a birds-eye view. These types of images work great when taking pictures of children or animals. This shows the image as you see them and they see you. Often, when taking an overhead shot we want to focus on the subject closest to the lens. This may make the image more exaggerated in size, so focus on the topmost object. This will help the focus be clear and will draw your eye into the image.
Shoot at 90% Angle
If you are shooting a flat lay or a scene from an angle above the object make sure you shoot the image at a 90 degree angle. If you are taking a picture of a cup of lemonade from above; try to position your smartphone both centered and perfectly parallel to the surface to get the cup as a perfect circle. Taking a picture from above will bring out the image as simple shapes; therefore, consider the geometric positions when designing your image.
Here is a Simple Tech Tip for Improving Animal or Baby Shots
A new feature in smartphone photography is live video- which takes a 2 second video before the shutter button is pressed. For iPhones it is called “live” view and for Android called “motion photo”. After you take the shot watch the clip and capture the best shot. You can turn on the “live photo” on iPhone on top right corner of the camera app. For the Samsung this can be accessed on the Samsung by going into the settings and turning on the “motion photo” option. After you take the shot watch the clip, hit stop, and you can save the best shot.
Low Angle Photography
Understanding where the horizon line in drawing can help you create better artwork. It is a tool you can use in your photography. When you use low angles in photography the horizon line is on the bottom of the image. This brings out the subject matter and it fills the frame in a more creative way. This can show objects being larger to scale than they really are. This can create a sense of awe or authority. Using angles can be a great way to show a sense of scale when taking a landscape. Adding people or animals can show the scale of a vast mountain.
Using angles in cell phone photography is very simple but can greatly improve your photography. It is easy to do and just takes that moment of thought and creativity to make that big change. Taking pictures with different angles and perspectives often requires gear. Using a tripod or a stabilizer can help you get a better shot.