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« Inspiring work at The Black and White Spider Awards | Main | How to take a great portrait photograph »
Monday
May142012

Go Dutch to make a better photograph

In making photographs, our normal inclination is to make the horizon level.  And in fact, many cameras now a menu item that allows the display of a built-in level to assist with that.

But sometimes, skewing the horizon line in the photograph can add impact to an image. In cinematography, Dutch angle means tilting the camera to create a sense of exoticness or unease.  It's a technique that has been used often in film, and photographers use the technique as well.  Beyond the pyschological effects it can engender, I like to use it to add more of a graphic quality to the composition, or make an image seem more candid.  Just look at the image at the top compared to this image.

And here are a couple of other examples of using the Dutch angle.

So the next time you do a shoot, play a little bit with the horizon line.  You may find doing so adds a new and interesting angle to your work.

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