By skewing the horizon or verticals in a photograph we change its feeling. In cinematography this is called a Dutch Angle.
A Dutch angle is a camera shot in which the camera has been rotated relative to the horizon or vertical lines in the shot. The primary use of such angles is to cause a sense of unease or disorientation for the viewer.
A Dutch Angle is often used to portray psychological uneasiness or tension. They tilt the camera when the evil character comes into the frame in a horror movie, and revert to a level frame when the hero or heroine is in the shot. You might also notice they change the lighting as well. Soft gentle light for the heroine, and harsh up-lighting for the evil protagonist.
We are bought up to believe that having horizons level is essential to a great photograph. While this may be true in many cases, breaking this rule can communicate a whole host of different feelings.
Go and take some new photographs this week and explore the Dutch Angle
Ok, sounds simple. Good. Tilt your cameras and explore.
Post one or two of your meaningful new photographs in the comments bellow.
Comment on how other peoples photographs make you feel
Come back and have a look at other peoples photographs and see how they make you feel.
Think about these questions:
Does tilting always create tension and uneasiness
What feelings does it create in you
What story does it add to the photograph
Does the angle of the tilt change how you feel about the photographs
Before we finish, I thought would be interesting for you to know why it is called the Dutch Angle?
Dutch refers to a bastardisation of the word Deutsch, the German word for "German". It is not related to the Dutch people or language. It originated in the First World War, as Navy blockades made the import (and export) of movies impossible. The German movie scene was part of the expressionist movement, which used the Dutch angle extensively.
Reference link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_angle