‘Keep the horizon straight’ is one of the important composition rules in photography where the horizon has to be kept parallel to the horizontal side of the frame. Similarly keeping the vertical lines parallel to vertical side of frame creates a balance in the image, there are perspective control (PC) lenses also known as Tilt & Shift lenses which help in overcoming the problem of converging verticals.
A slight tilt is considered as a mistake but an intentional tilt, a deliberate slant where degree of tilt is quite high is the Dutch Tilt or Dutch Angle. Not to be confused with the country Holland or Netherlands, the term ‘Dutch’ originates from ‘Deutsch’ meaning German. So basically Dutch Tilt, Dutch Angle and German Angle are same and used very often in cinematography.
In this technique the camera is set at an angle similar to tilted head where horizon is not parallel to the bottom of the frame. By using the line dynamics, a drama is created in the scene and causes an uneasiness or tension. The eyes, used to seeing the symmetry and balance, notice the drastic change in perspective of the subject.
Using diagonals while composing changes the scene from one point perspective to two point perspective, the subject looks three dimensional. Here either the subject is turned around or camera is moved to see the depth in the subject. In Dutch Tilt, the camera is set at an angle on its roll axis making the lines appear diagonal instead of parallel to the sides of the frame. The angle is quite unique and make a tremendous impact on the viewer and can also lead to abstraction from a definite form or shape. Besides catching the attention, the angle can make the viewer think about the subject and interpret in own way.
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