Camera Tilt - A Mini-Rant

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Pugs, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    So... what is it with the whole camera tilt thing?! Could someone please explain to me why it is SUCH a popular technique?

    Photographic techniques should enhance an image and should be done purposefully. "It's artistic" or "I wanted it to be funky" are NOT good reasons! How is it making the shot more artistic? How is it making the shot funky? If you can't answer those questions, then it probably is not an appropriate technique!

    Camera tilt to emphasize a line or shape and where it is heading... That's a good reason! A toddler learning to walk and you want to emphasize the awkward clumsiness of those first attempts... That's a good reason!

    Composition rules like the rule of thirds, the golden mean/ratio/spiral/rectangle/triangle/shower, action moving into negative space, leading lines, symmetry, balance, repetition, etc... are all meant to be broken. But breaking a rule without purpose is NOT creative, NOT artistic, and NOT helping your image any! Learn the rules and then break them to make a point, break them with purpose, break them to convey a feeling or story, just make sure you actually have a rational and creative reason for it!

    'Kay... I'm done... just had to get that off of my chest...
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Feels good, doesn't it. :)
     
  3. Mulewings~

    Mulewings~ TPF Noob!

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    I get tilted when trying to lean over a creek and not fall in while taking photos...or
    too much to drink!:lmao::lmao:
     
  4. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    I don't, often, but the shot has worked for me in a few rare occasions (the most recent was capturing my daughter on the extent of her on a swing, as it added to the motion of the photo, and another one was to take a regular picture of the underside of suspended stairs and change the angles such that it was more abstract, but I digress). I've recently seen it actually recommended as a means to get more of a person in a frame, and a 'good technique' for an edgy photo.

    But I can tell you why it's so popular ... people love it. I generally include one tilted shot and one selective color shot in client photos, even though it sometimes pains me to do so, and people eat them up. Almost always result in an order.
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm still in a learning phase with tilting, just as with something like HDR, you need to find the right moment for it to work properly.

    So I tend to tilt more than less these days, trying to figure out where and when it works.

    There is also the amount of tilt in a photo. From a slight tilt to the "OMG he is falling off the frame" tilt. All need to be explored, tried and understood.

    But again to compare with HDR, people tend to cling to it and keep doing thinking its funky and cool.
     
  6. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    Pugs, I feel like you and I are gonna get along splendidly.
     
  7. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    Another buzz word for use of things like HDR, Tilt, selective color, etc... is trendy. At some point or another you have seen it work well and even make money or possibly it defined a well known artist's work, but then a lot of the time the newbs like myself think "hey that's cool looking, and they're a pro, so I'm gonna try that out to see if I can get the same 'pro' look" (while all the other rules of composition fly out the window) and that's when the trendy stuff gets overused, and people start to hate it.

    I think there's a time and place for all sorts of gimmicks(for lack of a better term), but kind of like what bigtwinky said, when people are learning them they will tend to try it out a lot, and not always in ways that work well. But then again how will you know what works and what doesn't until you get comfortable with the technique?

    as a side note: I'm still working on the basic rules of a good composition, I don't always get it right, but I won't be giving up on the technique any time soon.
     
  8. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Heh! It actually does!

    :lol: Well, those things might actually be part of the point or the story being told by the photo!

    Todd... you just made me cry a little... you're breaking my heart with this insight...

    And selective color is another one that sets me off most of the time!

    Pierre! You know how I feel about HDR! Between you mentioning HDR and Todd mentioning selective color, I may need blood pressure meds! :lol:

    Right-on!

    And I get that. Imitation is how we improve. It's just c'mon... you don't use a hammer to drive a philips head screw, do you?! It's a tool that should be used when appropriate!

    I'm glad that you're working on the basics of composition! I wish that others would take the same approach! Learn the basics and then learn how to creatively break out of that mold and how to creatively use that foundation!
     
  9. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    Like they say... you gotta walk before you can run... or something like that
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  11. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Can't help you there because I don't get it either. Can't stand all the tilting going on that adds nothing whatsoever to the image. It sometimes works but it's pretty rare imho. And I have a simple test for deciding: if the image makes me turn my head, the tilt did not work. :D


    Now, that, I can understand. :lmao:
     
  12. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Most of us aren't Gary Winnogrand!

    And the shot you gave as a sample of your tilted camera work, actually is an example of how to use it appropriately. In your sample, it's creating a sense of motion, it's emphasizing that LEAN into a turn, and it's giving that sense of flowing downhill which is actually how I feel when I take a corner aggressively (but I have a big-a$$ muscle cruiser and would low-side if I got THAT aggressive! LOL!!).
     

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