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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Apr 2011

    Thoughts on level vs slanted photos.

    So I came across this guy's work. ENDURO - PB CREATIVE PHOTO

    He does great work, but one of the things that he does on occasion is rotate the image so that the image is no longer level... presumably for dramatic effect.

    Just wondering what everybody thought of that practice. I've always though the image should be level, but I don't know why I got that idea that that's a rule.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    I don't shoot much of mtb, but I shoot pretty much every other sport for living, and considering we are covering this part of world for one of biggest European photo agencies, I assume I know a thing or two about sports photography. Now to this "tilt" issue. Yes one of basic photo rules is, photos should be level. But there's another rule, which says all rules should be broken Which of course doesn't mean every photo should be tilted then, and it doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. When I'm covering alpine skiing World cup in winter, I would be pretty much safe to say, some 80% of action photos from course are tilted one way or the other. On the other side, with ice hockey, soccer, basketball, sailing... for example, you pretty much never ever tilt photos. So it depends on sport, it depends on photo, it depends on environment etc. There's no clear rule when to tilt photo, but it's perfectly fine to tilt it, to get more dramatic action out of this. And it really works. For mtb, I don't shoot it enough to be 100% sure what would riders want, but for news (that's what I do most of time), I would certainly tilt some of them without any bad conscious.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Rae6503's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    I think it's just an effect and a matter of preference. I also like them level. And I don't like having a large amount of out-of-focus "stuff" in the forefront of pictures, which seems to be another trend these days. Again, preference.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: borabora's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Few things drive me crazier than a tilted horizon in a picture. I compulsively straighten mine up first thing when I begin editing. First straighten (if needed) then reframe. Only then will I begin other editing.

    Of course if it's part of the creative equation then it can work. Sort of like panning the camera with a moving object to motion-blur the background. Motion-blur is hardly ever desirable except when it is intentional and even then sometimes I don't think it works.

  5. #5
    Reputation: bsieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    You can also rotate and crop in PS, if that makes the image work better.
    The warrior has only his will, and time, and patience.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Generally when there's a point in f reference that is identifiable I try to stay level. Horizon is biggie, buildings also. Trees usually. When you're in tighter tilting can do things for your pic, although some people might consider it almost "cheating" where you can make the drop you're doing look bigger, get in close and low make your air look higher, etc.

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