Dutch Tilt

Dutch Tilt effective when you want to introduce emotions into your image.  These emotions could be simple drama, uncertainty, movement and even uncertainty.  The key word is emotions and you are not limited to the few words I’ve used here.  

This image has a slight tilt and there is an obvious movement downward.  We know the skateboarder has only one way to go, however, and that’s upward.  There is a slight tilt to the image that adds to the anticipation or excitement – whichever way you want to look at it.  The diagonal works nicely here.

I love this of the boy in the darkroom peering out a sliver of the torn fabric.  The muted colours, the darkness of the shadows and the light illuminating his face work amazingly well together.  The slight tilt of the photograph gives an edgy feel.  There are suspense, mystery and unease.  What is he looking at?  Is he hiding from someone?  Notice, too, the line implied by the directing the boy is looking.  The implied line created by the direction he is looking and his arm extended toward the window lead us to look at the opening in the fabric covering the window.  All in all, this is brilliant and the photographer has achieved a strong image composition.

If you look at the top of the wooden fence you can see that the photographer tilted the camera for this shot.  This is a nice example of the Dutch Tilt – a slight tilt of the camera.  By tilting the camera the photographer has given a sense of movement and a little bit of suspense.  Luckily the expression on the face of the child in the background tells us, everything will be fine for the little jumper.

This image tells a great story and is a good example of Dutch Tilt.  What story can you think of?  Could you write a caption for the photo?  The young woman on the telephone who appears to be looking out the window while on the phone and with her hand placed under her hair already gives a feeling of unease.  Something is not right.  Tilting the camera for a Dutch Tilt adds more unease to the shot.  The effect is brilliant and the photographer achieves a strong photo composition.

Lastly, the woman in the truck looking past the mirror and fantastic.  We don’t know the story but the photographer gives us the freedom the come up with our own.  We are involved and this is a good thing.  The tilt gives the image a feeling of unease as does the line of sight from the young woman.  What is she looking at?  Is someone out there or is someone following her?

Great composition and with the frame filled our attention is drawn only to the young woman and this is where our attention should be.   As a side note, notice the colours.  The darks and reds worn by the woman stand out brilliantly against the pale blue of the truck.  We will discuss the importance colour in a future lesson and here you can see firsthand how it was used effectively.

Dutch Tilt is challenging at first.  They are an effective technique to achieve interesting images and images that tell a good story.  The “photography gods” advise us to use this technique sparingly.  If you love using the Dutch Tilt technique and achieve sensational images, one after another after another, go for it.  There is no such thing as too much unless you try to include too many elements in one photo.  Remember, simplify your images.  This is the rule to remember.





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