June 14th, 2016
Ken asked the following question:
What heights do you set your tripod/monopod at? Do you shoot kitchens and bath lower or higher ? Do you shoot from an average height – 5′? or do you shoot higher ? Do you change shooting heights thru out the property ? What is a comfortable height for the viewer? Any advantages from shooting higher or lower?
Here are my camera height rules. I have to admit that I’ve learned most of these rules of thumb from Scott Hargis so more accurately these are Scotts rules of thumb:
- In rooms where there aren’t large surfaces you generally keep the camera between 36″ and 48″ off the floor. Composition considerations will determine the exact height.
- In kitchens or bathrooms, you have the camera height 15″ to 20″ above the counter (the primary surface) height AND you keep the camera height high enough so you can’t see the surface on the bottom of the cabinets. Frequently there are lights and other stuff under there you don’t want to show.
- In bedrooms, where the primary surface in the photograph is the bed you have the camera height 15″ to 20″ above the height of the bed. The lower the bed the lower the camera goes.
In #2 and #3 above, this means the camera will end up generally from 36″ to 48″ off the floor unless you have a very low bed.
The reason you typically don’t have the camera above 48″ is that you always have the camera leveled, ideally with a geared three-way head. So raising or lowering the camera (as well as how wide you are shooting) controls how much of the ceiling or floor is in the image. 36″ to 48″ gives you about the right amount of ceiling and floor.
I’m sure others will have different points of view on this.