4D | Exercise : Scale & Framing

Aloha! So for our first 4D in-class exercise, we were being taught on 2 composition techniques that were relatively important in photography – Shot Scale & Angle of Framing.

So, I have compiled the various types of scale and angle of framing into a table for future references.

Shot Scale

Shot scale can foster intimacy with a character, or conversely, it can swallow the character in its environment.

Extreme Long Shot/ Wide Shot Cinematic | The scale of the subject shown is very small. Buildings, landscapes and/or a crowd of people will fill the screen.
Long Shot / Wide Shot Full Body Action | The scale of the subject shown is small. A standing human figure will fill the height the screen.
Medium Long Shot Mid Body Action | The scale of the subject shown is shot from knee up and fills up 3/4 height of the screen.
Medium Shot Mid Body + Face Action | The scale of the subject shown is shown in more of the details and shot from waist up.
Medium Close Up Mid Body + Face Action | The scale of the subject shown is fairly large and shot from chest and/or shoulder up.
Close Up Face Action | The scale of the subject shown is relatively large. A close up of a person’s head will fill 3/4 height of the screen.
Extreme Close Up Micro-Expression Face Action | The scale of the subject shown is very large. The subject is usually shot in a zoom lens.
Angle of Framing
Eye-Level Shot Eye-Level | Taken with the camera approximately at the human eye-level, creating a neutral effect on the audience.
High Angle Top-Down | Taken with the camera angled down towards the subject, creating a vulnerable, weak and/or frightened effect of the subject.
Low Angle Down-Up | Taken with the camera angled below the subject, creating a dominant, powerful and/or dangerous effect of the subject.
Canted/Slanted Dutch Tilt | Taken with the camera titled to one side of the subject so that the horizon is on an angle, creating a distorted and psychological effect of the subject.
Exercise 1: Scale & Framing 

My partner for this exercise is the lovely and bubbly, Ho Si Hui!

So for this exercise, we were tasked to take 12 shots of our partner within 20 minutes. While doing so, we were to consider various factors including:

  • Attributes of our partner that interest us.
  • Ways to convey these attributes through various shot scale and framing angle.
  • Micro-expressions and/or gestures of our partner (to practice attentive gaze).

Inserted in the below are the 3 shots of the 12 shots that I’ve chosen.


Si Hui is pretty much known for her bubbliness where she always carry the widest smile on her face at any point of time. In fact, her favourite colour is yellow, which is the universal colour for happiness! But instead of portraying that side of her to which everyone is familiar, I wanted to portray a different side of her that is not known to many. This explains the dark colour scheme that was applied throughout the series of photo. I wanted to bring across the idea that besides the bubbly and cherry Si Hui, there is also the serious and solemn Si Hui.

These 3 photos are pretty much shot from the same angle, that is eye-level shot. I believe that shooting from an eye-level actually brings about an intimate relationship between the subject and the audience where both parties are on par so there isn’t a level of hierarchy. Besides, the photos are shot in medium close-up and close up. I wanted the focus to be on the subject with a slight glimpse of the background in the shot.

For the first photo,

Si Hui was leaning against the vending machine (by which, is her favourite place of the whole ADM building) with her head titled towards me. She was staring at me intently to show the serious side of her. Besides, the lighting from the vending machine actually gave the photo a much more dark and serious mood, complementing the low ISO and high shutter-speed.

For the second photo,

the photo was in fact titled in an anti-clockwise direction to create the effect that she is in a distress state. Instead of changing the angle, I thought it would be more interesting to tilt the photo, providing a different perspective without changing the intent.

Lastly, the third photo

is similar to the second photo, but is in fact, a close up of her face, in specific her eyes. n this photo, the glass from the vending machine actually created a reflection of her eyes with the light shining in. I wanted the focus to be on her eyes where it shows how she’s trying to tell you something about herself without having to say it in words. It is as though her eyes are speaking to you.

That’s about it!

A Hui Hou! (Goodbye in Hawaiian)

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