Tilt!

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Tilt!

2 Jul 2020 1:56PM   Views : 203 Unique : 118

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Does anyone remember my blog about Platon a week or three back?

While the main ‘signature’ of his work is an extraordinary connection with his sitters, there were a number of other characteristics of his work that are worth mentioning – and I duly did mention a couple. I don’t think I talked about the characteristic tilt to some (but by no means all) of his pictures. Typically, these were shot with a wideangle lens, specifically a 21mm Super Angulon on a Leica M6. I wonder if the unusual lens (very big front element, needs supplementary viewfinder in hot shoe) has an effect on sitters?

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A common Critique Gallery problem is the slight tilt: the sort of thing that happens to all of us in shooting, and should be one of the things that you always check when editing. A sloping horizon shows up in seascapes, particularly – half a degree out is obvious to everyone except the photographer!

Sometimes, as when there’s a lake with a distant shoreline in view, it can be hard to decide what is right. I remember a wrangle with one fellow member here who had posted an achingly-beautiful picture of a nude standing on a rock in a lake: and he’d use an autocorrect function somewhere in his Adobe software to ‘straighten the horizon’. It had aligned the receding shore perfectly, but ignored the tilted figure, and reflections angled to one side of the frame (reflections always drop straight down from the object making them).

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So if you’re going to tilt, give it some welly! Fifteen or twenty degrees from true as a minimum, and take care with the effect it has on composition. Which way? Remember that Westerners read left to right, and this affects how most of us ‘read’ tilts – uphill struggle, or coasting down… Unconvinced? Try it and see…

And a final word of warning - beware the circumstances tempting you to correct using something that is not necessarily straight and level.

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Comments


dark_lord Plus
16 2.6k 683 England
2 Jul 2020 3:07PM
Shoreline are a particular nuisance as even when horizontal in the frame optical illusions can conspire to make it look tilted.
Don't combine tilt with converging verticals if you're prone to vertigo.
I agree a tilt needs to look like a positive decision has ben made otherwise it appears like a mistake or poor attention to detail.

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dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1679 England
2 Jul 2020 3:46PM
I've been reminded by another member that the deliberate look is sometimes called the Dutch Tilt or Dutch Angle. Wikipedia informs me that it's actually not Dutch at all, coming from Deutsch - often used in German expressionist films...

I am a little worried at the results if I announced to a model that I was going for the Full Dutch.
GGAB Plus
4 31 1 United States
2 Jul 2020 4:33PM
"I am a little worried at the results if I announced to a model that I was going for the Full Dutch".

"Full Dutch
To remove all clothing except a snorkel and run around frantically. Advanced practitioners may also alternate
between eating cheese and vomiting furiously. Full Dutch is often brought on by severe stress or mental disorders".

Not knowing the term "Full Dutch" I needed to look it up. I don't blame you for being a bit worried!!
jacomes Plus
5 25 12 Portugal
2 Jul 2020 4:47PM
Sometimes I go for the full dutch if it suits the subject and/or the composition. Otherwise, except for water horizons, "If it looks right, then it is right" is my guide.
dudler Plus
17 1.2k 1679 England
2 Jul 2020 5:57PM
I'm rather glad I didn't look it up - just 'Dutch Angle'...

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