Friday, August 26, 2011

Ahh, The Art of the Camera Tilt.

There has been an evolution of sorts in the media and photography realm in the last decade or so. One change you’ll notice is tight cropping, which a lot of photographers have incorporated as well as the TV media. When done properly, it pulls the viewer's attention into the subject’s eyes. In the photography world, we have also found that tipping our cameras can lend an artistic flair to an otherwise simple composition. However, there are some simple rules to live by when using this advanced maneuver. Let’s go over some tips for tipping.
Let's start with a simple before and after of a senior guy. As you can see, tilting the composition and reframing the subject adds a lot more interest. Notice that the senior is in the exact same pose, but the photographer is capturing from a higher angle and has tightened up the shot to exclude shoes and legs.

The biggest rule to follow to make this work is having a vertical line somewhere in the image to anchor the subject. Notice where the true horizon of the images really are.

The above rule can be broken in some instances and still lead to a visually strong image such as in this example here.
While this image breaks the rule about tilting, it also follows a number of rules of composition. The subject's face is in the top right power point of the composition which follows the Rule of Thirds. There are also strong diagonal leading lines from her body and the lines of the flooring which pull you into her face.
When done properly, the camera tilt ends up being very subtle and directs your attention to the subject, not the tilt of the camera.

That's all for now!

- Kirsten Holscher

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