The Power of Camera Angles in Film: Objective vs. Subjective Perspectives

The Power of Camera Angles in Film: Objective vs. Subjective Perspectives

The world of film comprises two basic camera perspectives: objective and subjective. In this blog, we will explore how visual storytelling relies on each of these perspectives. Filmmakers carefully choose every shot in a film to elicit a specific emotional response and convey the desired message to the viewer.

Camera angle is one of the most powerful tools at a filmmaker’s disposal. Filmmakers direct the viewer’s gaze, create the story’s atmosphere, and enrich the narrative by manipulating the camera’s perspective. That’s why camera angle is one of the most important parts of a film director’s workflow.

Objective Camera Angles

What is a subjective camera angle?

A subjective camera is a camera that positions itself in a way that allows the viewer to experience the scene from a subjective point of view. In other words, the camera functions as an active participant in the scene, immersing the viewer in events as if they were personally involved. This way, the viewer feels like an integral part of the unfolding events. It’s akin to a firsthand experience.

Filmmakers use subjective camera angles to infuse a sense of subjectivity into the narrative. They employ them to immerse the audience in a character’s perspective or to evoke specific emotions. These angles are frequently employed in genres like horror or thrillers, where the goal is to intensify the viewer’s connection with the story.

When employing a subjective camera angle, filmmakers guide viewers to perceive the story through a particular character’s eyes. This technique allows for a more immersive and emotional storytelling experience. By adopting a subjective perspective, filmmakers can manipulate the audience’s emotions and perspectives in line with the character’s experiences.

“People don’t always express their inner thoughts to one another. A conversation may be quite trivial, but often the eyes will reveal what a person thinks or needs.”

Alfred Hitchcock, Director

Subjective Camera Angles

Unlike the objective angle, the subjective camera angle places the camera in the shoes of the character. This angle enables the audience to experience events through the eyes of the character, immersing the viewer in the character’s perspective and establishing a more personal and emotional connection.

During his advanced film editing workshop at Rtist.Studio, Stephen Mark, an experienced film editor, discussed subjective perspectives. He stated, “You can place the audience in a situation where they feel like they identify with a character, and we achieve that by situating cameras close to the character whose empathy you want them to have.”

The camera can capture the character’s feelings through elements such as their speech, tone of voice, body language, and eyes. These signals are all communicative and provide subtext that is not only about what they say but also about how they feel. Techniques like point of view shots, close-up shots, tracking shots, etc., can accomplish this, allowing the filmmaker to emphasize the emotions, thoughts, and subjectivity of the character.

When the audience adopts this angle, it enables them to experience events firsthand and gain a deeper understanding of the character’s inner world.

Leveraging Objective and Subjective Angles in Visual Storytelling

Two different ways to tell a story are objective and subjective camera angles, and when you use them correctly, they can add a lot of depth to your video. Objective angles help you establish the scene, showcase the grandeur of a place, or introduce new characters. You can set the scene for an epic adventure or demonstrate the size of a location with a wide-angle shot of a vast landscape.

Presenting events objectively enables you to concentrate on the bigger picture and reveal the world in which your characters live. On the other hand, subjective angles are excellent for depicting intimate moments, conveying empathy, and displaying your character’s emotions.

A close-up of your character’s face during a crucial moment can capture their fear, happiness, or sadness. By placing your audience in your character’s point of view, you can forge a deeper emotional connection with them. This enables you to empathize with your character as they endure, triumph, or face challenges.

Remember that the selection of camera angle doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all situation. Filmmakers use objective and subjective angle combinations to create a complex and dynamic visual story. By seamlessly transitioning between these two angles, filmmakers can manipulate the emotions of the audience, challenge their assumptions, and create an even more captivating cinematic experience.


Filmmakers shape the audience’s perception and emotional involvement with the story through camera angles. An objective camera angle gives viewers a neutral, distant view, while a subjective angle brings viewers into a character’s experience. By understanding the unique characteristics of each angle and executing them effectively, filmmakers can create captivating stories that connect with the audience on a deeper level.

The combination of objective camera angles with subjective camera angles enhances the complexity, authenticity, and depth of the storytelling experience.