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View Full Version : Is My Dutch-Tilt Photo a Hit or Miss?


brucer007
03-16-2012, 09:06 AM
I often see people doing Dutch Tilted compositions in their cosplay photos. I like using them too, and I think it can improve a composition, but sometimes it can make a photo awkward to look at.

This forum is an opportunity to celebrate when a Dutch-Tilt makes a photo look more amazing, or to gain insight in how to avoid bad results.

Please post your Dutch-Tilted photos for critiques. Does it work well, or does it have a bad effect? If it did not work, what, if anything, could have made it work? Also, if you post an image, please explain why you decided to tilt your composition.

Critiques can be about any posted images in this forum, not just the image directly above your post. You can comment on photos without posting an image of your own.

I will start it off with one of my Dutch-Tilted cosplay images: I tilted this image to give the fight and extra challenge of balance. It also made less space near their heads, which tightened the composition. I had more room to place the sword in the corner too.

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/23/2346981.jpg

What do you all think?

the-essy
03-21-2012, 06:50 AM
I never tried tilt-shifting with photography although it can give a nice effect. The photo above definitely has depth which I like. Normally I hate fighting pics, but here it looks like they're actually fighting. Kudos!

brucer007
03-21-2012, 09:34 AM
The term Tilt-Shifting actually has a different meaning than the Tilt I am referring to. There are "Tilt-Shift" lenses that are designed to straighten distortions of converging lines when you look at something like a building that has straight lines. When ever you tilt your lens upwards at a building, the top of the building will look much smaller than the bottom, but if you use a Tilt-Shift lens you can make the building have parallel lines.

Thank you for your compliments on the fight poses. I use real movement during my fight photos. I find still poses usually look fake, especially if hair and costume should look like they are moving.

As you said, I think the camera tilt did add some depth, as it included more height to the background of the glass buildings, and more foreground to the floor. Great observation!

Missi
03-27-2012, 04:01 PM
Regardless of what kind of tilt you were going for I love this photo! that's a great way of creating a super engaging composition!

brucer007
03-30-2012, 09:00 PM
Thanks Missy. I do think this photo has more excitement from giving it a Tilted composition.

Who else has a Tilted photo to share? What effect were you after for by tilting you camera?

Convoke
04-05-2012, 01:18 PM
This was obviously a well thought out composition. My only critique is that the sword on the ground is just barely cropped, which is distracting.

In future, I would either try to crop more of the sword, to make it look intentional, or give it a bit more breathing room. Same applies to the hand closest to the left edge of the shot (though it's not actually cropped).

Personally, I'm not really a fan of Dutch-tilt, as you call it (didn't even know there was a name for it). Most of the time when I see it, though not necessarily in this case, it feels like an afterthought to make the photo "edgy" rather than a deliberate composition choice. However, in some cases (like this, I'd argue) it is well thought out and executed and actually adds to the photo. I'm a big fan of cinematic photography, and in cinema, the camera is rarely off axis. But again, that's just personal preference.

Great job!

brucer007
04-17-2012, 01:16 AM
Indeed, the term "Dutch Tilt" is an official name I learned in film school. It was commonly used on the tv show BATMAN with Adam West, to create a feeling of disruption or evil.

I agree with your feedback Convoke. I did also feel, at the time of editing this photo that I wish the swords was better place inside the frame. Actually the fingers were cropped out, but I chose to retouch them to make them complete, within the frame. My tilt was indeed very intentional and considered to create a more dynamic effect. I think it makes her balance on one foot look even more challenging and impressive.

I am still hoping for others to contribute their Dutch Tilted photos to this forum, but for now, here is another of mine. Feel free to comment:

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/29/2992411.jpg

fotaku
04-17-2012, 10:26 PM
I often see people doing Dutch Tilted compositions in their cosplay photos. I like using them too, and I think it can improve a composition, but sometimes it can make a photo awkward to look at.

I agree... and would also like to add a choice c) That Dutch Tilt can be someone's style. There's a guy who I watch on DA and 99% of his convention photos are Dutch Tilted at almost the exact same angle. Because of this I can pick out his photos amongst everyone else pretty easily.

I think in the examples you gave the Dutch Tilt greatly improves the composition.

Here's a photo to add to the thread.

http://www.fotaku.com/scarecrow-dutch-tilt.jpg

sonikku10
04-19-2012, 12:04 AM
I agree... and would also like to add a choice c) That Dutch Tilt can be someone's style. There's a guy who I watch on DA and 99% of his convention photos are Dutch Tilted at almost the exact same angle. Because of this I can pick out his photos amongst everyone else pretty easily.

I think I know exactly who you're talking about. Is he FL-based?

I figured I should add one of mine in here.
http://images.cosplay.com/photos/31/3186370.jpg

I used a dutch-tilt to give the flowing cape "animation"... to emphasize the appearance of movement. I think that's how I would put it... in any case, I just think it looks much cooler than it would have had it not been tilted in the first place.

brucer007
04-19-2012, 06:39 AM
Thanks for contributing a Dutch Tilt photo Fotaku.

In your photo, your tilt made the vertical lines on the wall become diagonals. I am big on diagonal lines in photos. The tilt also brought the shadow of the cosplayer more into the photo, which helped make for a stronger composition. I don't think the tilt helped or hindered the cosplayer himself.

Who's next? :-)

errido
04-20-2012, 06:51 AM
Indeed, the term "Dutch Tilt" is an official name I learned in film school. It was commonly used on the tv show BATMAN with Adam West, to create a feeling of disruption or evil.

I agree with your feedback Convoke. I did also feel, at the time of editing this photo that I wish the swords was better place inside the frame. Actually the fingers were cropped out, but I chose to retouch them to make them complete, within the frame. My tilt was indeed very intentional and considered to create a more dynamic effect. I think it makes her balance on one foot look even more challenging and impressive.

I am still hoping for others to contribute their Dutch Tilted photos to this forum, but for now, here is another of mine. Feel free to comment:

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/29/2992411.jpg

It might just be me, but the tilt in this picture gives makes me confuse. I could not tell if they were lying on the floor or up against the wall. I still have the illusion after I looked at the background. It might be the distance between your models, too. To be honest, I used tilt once and was criticized for that :P but I think you mostly would want to use a tilt if the subject isn't perpendicular to the ground, otherwise it may make people who look at your pictures confused and uncomfortable. It's just my opinion :P

brucer007
04-20-2012, 01:50 PM
I like the tilt that sonikku10 posted, because it does bring in more of the jagged cape that would have otherwise been cropped out. It also gave the trees some diagonal lines, which I find adds to the action. A wider leg stance might have been an interesting pose to counter the tilt with firm footing, or a more pronounced arch of the back...Just a thought. There is a blue material hanging down that I wish was also moving.

@ errido I don't mind a tilt to create a feeling of discomfort or disorientation. There are visual clues to tell the viewer that they are mostly upright, since the long hair is not dipping down towards the shorter haired woman. Also, the braids on the girl on the left hand down towards the true ground.

I encourage you not to give up on tilted compositions, just from getting negative criticism. It might have been good, or a miss. Either way, you might use it in a manner that is appreciated too.

DireKitty
06-23-2012, 05:45 PM
I am still hoping for others to contribute their Dutch Tilted photos to this forum, but for now, here is another of mine. Feel free to comment:

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/29/2992411.jpg

I really like this one. The fact that it does at first glace seem like the wall is the ground makes the pose look more forceful due to the large, imposing size of the wall. The tilt really lends itself to that and works very well here.

brucer007
07-10-2012, 03:08 PM
I appreciate any comments on my own photos shown in this forum, but I also hope others will display their photos that have tilted compositions.

Here is another I did with subtle tilting. You can see the staircase in the distance is not so level (tilting to the left), as well as the walkway the cosplayer is stepping on. I also tilted the cosplayer to the right in her stance when I edited her to this location. Does the tilting add to the composition, take away from it, or not affect it enough to notice?

https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/428468_10150965060799342_1021667245_n.jpg

Diegator
07-11-2012, 03:16 PM
I like your last photo, specially because I'm a fan of both the cosplayer and the costume maker, Steve Wang. Composition wise it is solid, giving the subject a powerful stance accentuating the legs due to the perspective. However, I don't think the tilt is signifficant enough to even be noticeable. The perspective lines overpower whatever additional angle was created by tilting, in m opinion.

I wish I had something else to contribute at this time, but I'm posting from my phone. Cheers!

brucer007
07-11-2012, 05:48 PM
Thanks Diegator: I think it could be an asset to have a tilt that is not noticeable. It's like watching a movie with music that you did not even notice...That is when music is seamlessly integrated.

The best tilts don't have to make you aware of the tilts in a composition. It can be a subliminal enhancement. They don't always need to be in-your-face. Often, I find tilted shots obnoxious, because the tilt is too extreme for my eyes...and for my neck.

dbchan
11-29-2012, 05:37 PM
I think I'm starting to learn how to apply the tilt. I'm trying to use it more subtly.

http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3206382/
http://www.cosplay.com/photo/3206379/

Still a little heavy handed, I think. ^^'

nathancarter
11-29-2012, 08:26 PM
I very rarely use a tilt, only when I want to make a feeling of discomfort or disorientation. In fact, I usually work to make my horizontals or verticals as straight as possible. Almost every photo is cropped/rotated very slightly to make sure it's level.

I think it has to be evaluated photo-by-photo, but unless there is a strong, legitimate reason to tilt it .... just make it straight.

Here's one recent instance where I used the tilt intentionally.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8440/7966035764_4ef19edc9b_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathancarter/7966035764/)
DragonCon_20120831_2739.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathancarter/7966035764/) by nathancarter (http://www.flickr.com/people/nathancarter/), on Flickr

Patcave
12-13-2012, 06:55 PM
Kill the wabbit! Kill the WABBIT!!!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8310/8047625350_20cccf60f9_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/patcave/8047625350/)
IMG_7757-2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/patcave/8047625350/) by Patcave (http://www.flickr.com/people/patcave/), on Flickr

brucer007
12-20-2012, 09:09 AM
On Dbchan' photos: I don't mind the tilt much on the window shot, but it seems like she is preventing a falling house from collapsing. The tea kettle photo seems like it might fall off the table.

I like the tilted shot of Nathencarters, the best of the three images. It heightens the action.

Patcave's tilt is very subtle, but it can be seen in the faint horizon-line. I think the tilt adds to the feeling of dominance and vulnerability.

Here is my latest submission for this forum:

http://photo.cosplay.com/150562/2950197.jpg

TMLiza
12-22-2012, 11:06 AM
Still a beginner at photography. I'm not sure if this is a good tilt or not.
http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b68/Touchmon/flowing_dress_by_tmliza-d5o94vi_zps07c1b8ea.jpg

nathancarter
12-22-2012, 01:58 PM
In terms of framing the subject, the tilt is fine. It allows you to nicely frame the flowing dress.

However, two other critiques:
1) In portraiture, the background is almost as important as the subject. Look past the subject, what do you see? That pole is killllllling me. Take a half-step to the left and turn slightly to the right, and the pole will be gone. The cars and the building are not so great either, but maybe you couldn't avoid them in this location.

If your lens will do it, a wider aperture (for less DOF) can help make the faraway background elements less distracting.

2. Stay out of direct sun if you can. It makes hard shadows that are hard to work with, and it makes the subject want to squint and wrinkle up their face. Her face is a bit underexposed here, especially where her hair and brow cast a shadow onto her eyes. You can use fill flash or reflector to help mitigate this, or get the subject into the shade.

brucer007
12-25-2012, 01:41 PM
@ TouchmonThe tilt does seem to add to the over-all composition, as it brings her head more into the frame, giving it closer to a rule-of-thirds balance with the bottom of her dress. Her stance has her feet close together, so it seems she might fall over from gravity.

The lighting from overhead, seems it was not full on direct sunlight, since it seems a cloud was partially obscuring the sun, which did help make it less harsh. Good timing! It made the texture of the dress come out very nicely, especially on the ruffles trim. Unfortunately, the light on her face and left leg needed some fill-light. A silver reflector aimed at her face and another on her leg would have been a great solution, or having your cosplayer look up toward the sun would get more light on her face. I recommend a profile of her face, so we don't look up her nose.

If you can't frame out the people and cars, etc, using the Photoshop Clone Tool could make them disappear.

Below is my next submission. I did a low angle, so no horizon and no people in the background are seen. I like how the tilt made the lines of the building, her body, and her weapon become interesting diagonals.

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/31/3172866.jpg

TMLiza
12-28-2012, 09:50 PM
@nathancarter & brucer007-Thanks for the critique. ^_^ I'll keep in mind, lighting, in the future.

jeproxshots
12-29-2012, 01:40 AM
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jeproxshots
12-29-2012, 01:45 AM
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jeproxshots
12-29-2012, 01:53 AM
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blood_red_rain
12-30-2012, 04:37 PM
I have been wanting to learn how to apply a tilt to my photography but I'm at a loss as to how you do it without the lens. Do you have any tutorials that you would recommend to a beginner? Any advise? Anything would be greatly appreciated to help get me started.

nathancarter
12-31-2012, 11:19 AM
For a tilt of this nature, you just turn the camera. :)

Or, shoot loose so you have room to crop, and rotate it in your post-processing software of choice (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc).

If you're talking about the effect of a tilt-shift lens - that's different than the "Dutch Tilt" style of composition being discussed in this thread. A tilt-shift lens was originally intended to help correct the focus and perspective errors that occur during certain types of shooting, for instance when shooting a tall building from ground level. They allow you to use a focal plane that's not parallel to the camera sensor. But, they can also be used to make an interesting portrait or other style of photo, again using a focal plane that's not parallel to the camera's sensor. They can also be used creatively to take a photo of a life-size person or scene, and use an odd focal plane to help give the impression that it's a photo of a toy-sized person or scene.

The latter effect can be emulated reasonably easily in Photoshop, *IF* you have an appropriate photo to start with. It won't work on every photo, of course.
http://www.tiltshiftphotography.net/tilt-shift-photography-photoshop-tutorial/#.UOG69qztzFw

blood_red_rain
01-01-2013, 11:57 PM
http://i1352.photobucket.com/albums/q641/farorephotography/GodTierGroup1_zps72a271b7.jpg

Would this count as a tilt then? If so then I think I may understand; if not then I still need to practice some more.

brucer007
01-03-2013, 01:01 AM
@ Blood Red Rain

I don't think this last photo you posted would qualify as a dutch tilt. It has diagonal lines from how the bodies are composed, but there is no apparent tilt of the scenery, to the left or to the right. The camera was tilted to look down at the ground without it being directly pointing downward, so it is tilted, but it is not a Dutch Tilt.

Look at some examples in this forum, and/or try google images.

Here is another example of a Dutch Tilt from my gallery here at Cosplay.com:
Notice the diagonal lines in the scenery, tilting from left to right and right to left.

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/29/2972716.jpg

claudillama
01-03-2013, 05:28 PM
In terms of framing the subject, the tilt is fine. It allows you to nicely frame the flowing dress.

However, two other critiques:
1) In portraiture, the background is almost as important as the subject. Look past the subject, what do you see? That pole is killllllling me. Take a half-step to the left and turn slightly to the right, and the pole will be gone. The cars and the building are not so great either, but maybe you couldn't avoid them in this location.

If your lens will do it, a wider aperture (for less DOF) can help make the faraway background elements less distracting.

2. Stay out of direct sun if you can. It makes hard shadows that are hard to work with, and it makes the subject want to squint and wrinkle up their face. Her face is a bit underexposed here, especially where her hair and brow cast a shadow onto her eyes. You can use fill flash or reflector to help mitigate this, or get the subject into the shade.

Great advice, ill def use this next time im out and about in a cosplay photoshoot! thank you

claudillama
01-03-2013, 05:41 PM
I guess what I was trying to do to this photo was give it a feel as if he was coming towards me.. Like he was moving.. BUt i think i put too much of a tilt http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8361/8332181057_de3098c90d_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/86492020@N07/8332181057/)
FF61 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/86492020@N07/8332181057/) by Claudillama (http://www.flickr.com/people/86492020@N07/), on Flickr

claudillama
01-03-2013, 05:43 PM
This was my first photoshoot at a con, so reading this thread gave me a lot of great advice of what to do and what not to do!! I went a little overboard with the tilts in my first photoshoot, but i will make sure i wont make the same mistake again! Thank you all http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8360/8333237708_071b98e5e8_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/86492020@N07/8333237708/)
FF63 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/86492020@N07/8333237708/) by Claudillama (http://www.flickr.com/people/86492020@N07/), on Flickr

brucer007
01-03-2013, 08:49 PM
@Claudillama My point was not to say, Dutch Tilting the camera a lot is always to a bad effect. It can be a great effect if used wisely with purpose.

A general rule of thumb could be: Don't make the flat ground look too slanted, unless it works for a certain effect.

Here, I am posting a photo with nearly the same amount of tilt as your last post. I avoided showng the ground, and trees often do grow diagonally, so it looks buildings are usually straight up, unless they are pyramids, broken down structures from destruction, or the Leaning Tower in Italy.

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/29/2905133.jpg

claudillama
01-03-2013, 10:45 PM
@Claudillama My point was not to say, Dutch Tilting the camera a lot is always to a bad effect. It can be a great effect if used wisely with purpose.


A general rule of thumb could be: Don't make the flat ground look too slanted, unless it works for a certain effect.

Here, I am posting a photo with nearly the same amount of tilt as your last post. I avoided showng the ground, and trees often do grow diagonally, so it looks buildings are usually straight up, unless they are pyramids, broken down structures from destruction, or the Leaning Tower in Italy.

http://images.cosplay.com/photos/29/2905133.jpg


I see what your saying! THank you again for the help :)

skyywriting
01-08-2013, 08:22 PM
I don't use the effect much, but I wouldn't mind some critique on some of my tilted photos. =)
And some critique on their over all composition if you have any thoughts.


1 (http://i994.photobucket.com/albums/af61/somethingnewJay/photo/zach3b.jpg)
2 (http://i994.photobucket.com/albums/af61/somethingnewJay/vinnyfix2_zps27dc66af.jpg)

brucer007
01-17-2013, 03:29 AM
@ Skyywriting This image seems to benefit from the Dutch Tilt, giving it pleasing awkward effect to go with the spooky character and location.is image seems to benefit from the Dutch Tilt, giving it pleasing awkward effect to go with the spooky character and location. His feet apart make it seem like he is off balance, trying to compensate for the tilt...I like this pose in a Dutch Tilt. Compositionally, showing the shoes would improve this photo.
http://i994.photobucket.com/albums/af61/somethingnewJay/vinnyfix2_zps27dc66af.jpg

This photo is too dark to see well. His legs being together doesn't work well with the tilt...The tilt seems too forced and does not seem to add a good effect. I would like this photo better if it was straight.
http://i994.photobucket.com/albums/af61/somethingnewJay/photo/zach3b.jpg

FlashBlitzen
03-10-2013, 04:16 PM
Indeed, the term "Dutch Tilt" is an official name I learned in film school. It was commonly used on the tv show BATMAN with Adam West, to create a feeling of disruption or evil.



Ah, the original Batman series. I liked how they would rotate the camera when climbing buildings. The Dutch angle or German angle was something I was familiar with from old classic Film Noir and such but not so much liked in "stills" It seems to work for me better in movies.

For some odd reason, in stills, if the main subject ( model ) creates a strong angle in a pose, that seems ok. One man's ceiling is another man's floor, I guess. (hmmm - idea for concept shoot. - writing this down)

Your work is wonderful. My website is still being set up. Cheers!
~ Robert

brucer007
04-27-2014, 05:06 AM
I used a Dutch Tilt here, since it is more common to see it in super hero comic books. I used it with a character like Bizarro Superman, since he is bazar, and it made Green Lantern seem more off-balance as he was attacked. It also made Bizarro seem more dominant in the situation. How does the tilt work for you all? Hit or miss?
https://scontent-b-lax.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1.0-9/156897_10152007562089342_951967653_n.jpg

Foques
04-30-2014, 09:46 AM
one of the easy ways to tell that you're an experienced and tenured photog - all your images have something to gain from the tilt; it helps to tell the story.
Love 'em!