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15 Essential Camera Shots, Angles and Movements

9/13/2017 ISO 1200 Magazine 1 Comments

15 Essential Camera Shots, Angles and Movements

Sareesh Sudhakaran has divided 15 essential camera shots into three groups of 5 each: Angles, Shot Sizes and Motion. Together, you can create an infinite combination of shots for your film projects.

Are you interested in learning about 15 important shots that every filmmaker should be aware of? In this post, we'll break down the essential shots into three categories: shot sizes, camera angles, and motion attributes. We'll also provide a chart to make your life easier when you're putting together your shots. Let's dive in!

Shot Sizes

The first category is shot sizes, which are determined by how much of the subject is captured in the frame. Here are five shot sizes that every filmmaker should know:
  1. Close-up: This shot fills the frame with the subject's face and is typically used to draw attention to the expression or facial features of the subject.
  2. Extreme close-up: This shot is similar to a close-up but chops off the top or bottom of the face, making it even closer and more intimate.
  3. Medium shot: This shot captures roughly half of the subject's body and is useful when body language is important, but mobility isn't necessary.
  4. Long shot: This shot shows the entire body of the subject and is useful when you want to cover action, such as running or fighting.
  5. Extreme long shot: This shot captures the subject from a distance, making them appear small in relation to their surroundings.

Camera Angles 

The second category is camera angles, which are determined by the position of the camera in relation to the subject. Here are five camera angles that every filmmaker should know:

  1. Eye level: This is the most basic camera angle and is typically used to remain objective.
  2. Low angle: This angle points up from a lower angle, making the subject appear bigger or more dominant.
  3. High angle: This angle points down from a high angle, making the subject look smaller or weaker.
  4. Dutch angle or tilted shot: This shot draws attention to the fact that the frame is not balanced by tilting the camera.
  5. Over-the-shoulder shot: This shot is confrontational by nature and typically shows one person facing off with another.

Motion Attributes

The final category is motion attributes, which are determined by the movement of the camera. Here are five motion attributes that every filmmaker should know:

  1. Pan or tilt: The camera stays in one place and moves left or right, as if observing a tennis match.
  2. Tracking shot: The camera moves sideways either left or right, following the action or subject.
  3. Dolly shot: The camera moves forward or backward, giving the audience a sense of movement.
  4. Crane shot: The camera moves up or down, giving the audience a sense of space or location.
  5. Zoom shot: The camera zooms in or out without changing position, allowing the audience to focus on the subject without making an emotional statement.


As a filmmaker, understanding these 15 essential shots is crucial to capturing your vision on screen. By mastering shot sizes, camera angles, and motion attributes, you'll be able to create dynamic and engaging shots that enhance your storytelling.



  1. Eye Level
  2. Dutch
  3. Low Angle
  4. High Angle, top Angle
  5. Over the shoulder

Shot Size:

  1. Close up, Extreme
  2. Medium Shot
  3. Long Shot, Extreme
  4. Single, Two, Three shot
  5. POV


  1. 360ยบ
  2. Zoom
  3. Pan and Tilt
  4. Dolly, Crane
  5. Random

Text, image and video via wolfcrow

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