More on Lens Angles
A television or film screen is two-dimensional. The picture it shows has height and width but no depth. The director and cameraman can imply that depth. We get depth information in many ways; the most important of them is perspective. Things which are near to us look much bigger than things a long way away. The road or railway line is a classic case.
Have a look at this two shot. It’s okay, but it’s rather flat.
The same shot, but the lady has been re-positioned nearer the camera. Of course, she must have a reason to be where she is – looking out of the window, or pouring a drink or something. And it’s only the right thing to do if we’re more interested in her thoughts than the man’s.
Another small move to tidy up a shot. If the viewer is being asked to concentrate on the card trick the man is doing, it’s not a good idea to clutter the frame with the clock and skirting board.
Move the camera back a foot or so, and zoom in to compensate. Now it’s a much tidier shot.
Bring it to life
You don’t always want to eliminate things from shot, of course. An empty shot of a landscape may be OK but it’ll soon run out of interest.