June 24, 2009

Photography Week Installment 2

Hi there everyone! Maggie here.......

I am so excited to be cohosting the blog this week with the lovely Tina! And I am equally excited about the topic we will be talking about -- Photography! I am sure you know that it is a HUGE passion of mine and so of course I never tire of talking about it! :)

Photo Angles/Tilt

Today I am talking a bit about photo angles and tilt. This is one of the most common topics that I receive emails about. People often wonder if I do this in camera or in photoshop after the fact. And they also wonder if there is a certain formula or correct degree of tilt that I use.

99% of the time I create the tilt in camera while I am shooting. A few years back when I saw some other photographers doing this I absolutely loved it. I loved the added interest that it gives a photo and so I decided to start trying it myself. At first I had to make a very conscious effort to achieve this effect and to do it in a pleasing way. I admit it may even feel a little awkward at first if you are used to shooting all of your images with a normal straight horizon line (no tilt). Eventually it just became a part of my natural shooting style and so now I do it without even thinking about it.

The side to which you tilt your camera is just a matter of personal preference. I typically tilt my camera so that the subject's head is tilting toward the right, but there are others that do it the opposite way and that is fine too. This is just what feels and looks natural to me. (kind of like how some people are left handed and some right - there is no right or wrong here.)

I don't follow a certain angle degree when I do this, but you can see in the 3 photos above that it is just a slight tilt - enough that it shows and that it looks like it is on purpose, but not too much. The most common mistake people make when using this technique is tilting too much. In this case, a little goes a long way and it can definitely be easy to overdo it like in the image below.

My only real "rule" for tilting is not to overdo it like this. My general rule of thumb is that you do not want the subject to look like they are about to fall over. You also don't want to confuse the viewer as to whether the photo should be viewed horizontally or vertically. I always say that when you look at the image, if you feel like you have to turn your head to get the proper view, then you have overdone the tilt. In the image above I do find that I want to turn my head to the right in order to see it properly... and so I think it is too much. (the first image is the same image with a natural and pleasing tilt and it just looks so much better - again enough to add some interest but not too much.)

And my last comment is that sometimes even the tiniest little tilt is enough and also there are times when you don't need any tilt at all. The image below shows just a tiny little bit of tilt and I shot it this way because there was already enough interest in the composition of the image (texture, colors, etc.).

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions about how I achieve the look of photo angles/tilt. Have fun trying this out in your own photography! I bet you will love it!!


Karen said...

i love this look....will definitely give it a try. i am thinking about enrolling in a photography class at my local community college. I think it would be fun...maybe then i would learn how to use the great camera i have properly!

Hanna Long said...

I Love the tilted look in photos and love your tips and examples -

april said...

thanks for taking the time to explain your techniques. i usually overtilt, so this is good to know

Stacey said...

Great photos! Love the color and I am all about the tilt! Wonderful tutorial too!

ScrapMomOf2 said...

Cool! I do this sometimes, and I love the effect! My goodness, that pink tutu is adorable! What a sweetheart! The photos of that cutie are so playful and alive! I love them!