Monday, March 19, 2012

I just finished reading this blog post entitled 10 Common Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them from over at I Heart Faces.  This particular post is the first in a series of four that they'll be featuring this month. (They actually just posted the second one this morning.)

I have got to be honest...I love I Heart Faces.  I love the fact that a group of professional & hobbyist photographers would be so generous with their time, knowledge, and experience as to run a website where they share that information with folks like me.  I am so fortunate to have a professional mentor who is located about an hour from me.  I go sit with him once every two months or so & we discuss, critique, etc.  But there's something about having day to day or even weekly interaction with someone in relation to photography; having someone to gently guide you as you strive to grow and sharpen your skills.  And for me...places like I Heart Faces provides some of that guidance.

So...back to the article.  I found it so helpful!  It offered some of the greatest "little tips" to keep in mind as I go out shooting.  I'm noticing already when I shoot, that I am becoming more conscious of little things like color casts, composition, the rule of thirds...but one thing I still have trouble with is..... tilt!!  I do not know why I am like this...but I will tilt my camera in a heart beat...and then I end up with pictures in that people are having to turn their heads to look at.  I know that at times camera tilt is appropriate...even artistic.  But I also know that there are plenty of people out there who don't like crooked pictures.  I think I've got to find a balance.  I try to take one horizontal or vertical for every "tilted" shot that I do.  But sometimes, I tilt that camera and don't even realize I've done it.  Here are a few examples:

I think it works in the first two images:

But I don't think it works in these next two:

And again...I think it works in these two:

But not in this one: 

So, I'm curious to know anyone else's thoughts on camera tilt.  When it's best to use it & how to use it without having little Zeb (in the pic above) looking like he's about to slide out of the photo.  

Thanks in advance to anyone who might comment :) 


  1. This is such a good topic! I know a lot of it has to do with personal style and preference. I know for me, I'm obsessive about straight horizons. I'm very aware of it while shooting and the straighten tool on Lightroom is my best friend. But I have friends that frequently shoot with intentional tilts and it looks so good I always wonder why I don't try that more. I think the key word though is INTENTION. If you shoot straight, or at a slant, just make sure it's a conscious choice and done with artistic intent and purpose, and not an accident. Also, I think the goal with either choice is to draw attention TO the subject and not detract from it. If the first thing someone thinks while looking at a photo is "oh, its crooked" then the choice has detracted from the subject. If someone looks at it says "wow that person looks great, really cool angle" then the angle has drawn MORE attention to the subject. In my own pictures, when I see crooked horizon lines I always notice them and it distracts me from the subject, but I've seen other people do it where I like it. Perhaps it's just a technique I have not yet mastered!

    1. Thanks for this comment. Your advice abt. making sure that the tilt draws attention to the subject vs becoming a distraction from the subject makes all the sense in the world. Really, like a light bulb went off in my head when I read that. Now I'll mull it over & try to think about that when I'm framing my shots. Thanks much!!