In the world of photography and videography, a change in perspective can make all the difference. Whether you’re capturing a bird’s-eye view of a bustling cityscape, a flat lay food photograph, or a step-by-step craft tutorial, overhead shots can be your greatest tool.
However, achieving this effect requires more than just holding your camera above the subject. You’ll need to learn how to rig your camera properly for overhead shots to execute the intended effect. Let’s explore a few methods to set up your camera for those stunning overhead perspectives.
Tripod and Arm
For a basic overhead shot that’s easy to attain, try using an extendable arm with your trusty tripod. Set up the tripod and attach the arm, extending it over the area where you want to shoot. Next, attach your camera to the end of the extended arm.
Make sure your tripod is sturdy enough to handle the weight of the camera when the arm is extended.
Boom Pole or Monopod
Alternatively, try attaching your camera to the end of a boom pole, then hoisting the pole over your subject. This method allows for a great deal of flexibility in positioning the camera, but it requires a steady hand to prevent the camera from shaking. This option is best suited for situations where you need to move around while shooting, like during a live event or a location shoot.
You could mount your camera to a rig that holds it steady over the subject to save your arms and hands from getting tired. You can DIY a solution with PVC pipes or wooden planks to construct a frame, or you can use a flat lay camera stand specifically designed for this purpose. Either way, make sure the entire rig is secure and stable to prevent any accidents that could damage your valuable equipment.
A camera jib, or crane, consists of a long arm that you can move up and down, as well as side to side. Mount the camera at one end of the jib and control its movement from the other end. This setup allows for smooth, sweeping overhead shots and is often used in film and television production.
There are plenty of ways to rig your camera for overhead shots, and the one you choose will depend on the effect you want to pull off. Experiment with the equipment described above to explore each option’s advantages and potential challenges, and remember, creativity is not limited by your equipment but is enhanced by it.