Camera angles

If your teenager is interested in photography or film – even if it's just a selfie – there's a lot they can do to get a better shot. Photography and filming are rich in mathematics, and a knowledge of angles and ratios will really help.

Things you need

  • Smartphone, tablet, or camera.

The challenge

When it comes to getting a good photo, angles and ratios are everything. For anyone who has ever taken a photo or video, knowing how to frame the shot and get the angles right are essential skills.

Photography and videography are examples of the way that mathematics and the creative arts are intertwined. If your child finds a passion for it, there are plenty of tertiary courses available.

The conversation

Talk to your teenager about the content they’re creating. How does changing the angles also change the look and feel of what they produce? How are they calculating the angles? Are they using the rule of thirds when they frame their shots?

If you’re watching TV, a film or a video, get them to critique the framing of the shots. What makes a good shot or an interesting shot versus an average one?

The career

If your teen has an aptitude for angles and framing, they may have a potential career as a director, producer, camera operator or professional photographer. Many production companies and advertising agencies also value these skills. Marketing jobs may also require knowledge of how to shoot film and still images.

Understanding ratios and angles is not only the domain of the arts – anyone in design, construction, architecture and engineering will also be using these skills on a daily basis.

If you or your teen are interested in exploring the mathematics in photography and art, here are some further resources to get you started. This article from UNSW highlights the maths inherent in nature, while this article from the Maths Association of America explores 3D photography.

Explore more

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