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September 8, 2013

Russell, Kentucky

I apologize for such an artsy tilt but I was trying different angles with this I-Phone shot, in retrospect I think I should have stepped back a little and used much less tilt.   Back 30 years or more ago, my wife and I would take photography road trips while dating and she was sometimes partial to tilt in her compositions and I absolutely hated it.  Now I often find myself using it especially with the I-Phone 4 that I find has very distracting distortion when it comes to getting everything squared up.  Partly the lens and partly the operator trying to hold it level and plumb, I suppose.  You might not know that using tilt in photography has a name:  Dutch Angle.    If you're interested in some education on the topic, start with the Wikipedia article.  Next, TV Tropes is a site that bills itself as a wiki for tricks of the trade for writing fiction.  Tropes has a nice article on the Dutch Tilt along with folders to click on that will give real life examples.  And finally, please visit the Dutch Angle Pool on Flickr where you'll quickly find some great use of the technique as well as some examples that are even far worse than the one above.

I also wanted to mention that the above I-Phone 4 photo was processed with the mobile version of VSCO, which started as a high end plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop products that simulates film.  You can get VSCOcam for mobile phones and all the filters can be purchased as one bundle for about 6 bucks I think.  Compared to Hipstamatic, VSCOcam is more traditional and offers some basic darkroom adjustment tools plus the nice filters that are much more subtle with good grain structure, maybe the best I've found.  (I also need to mention that the toning was not done in VSCOcam, but in LR where I like to tone only the shadow areas with the split tone functions, often around 40,10 if you're interested in the hue & saturation numbers used.  Then some very subtle burning was done in PS with the soft light layer method)

Doing some home repairs and a bit of cycling this upcoming week, still figuring out how to tote a real camera on the bike.  Awhile back, we were on a photo trip and I found myself at the counter buying one of the Canon SL1 cameras, really one of the most alluring SLRs I've held for a long time, very small but has just the right feel.  Much like how some folks describe the Leica cameras (I've never held one of those).  I backed out at the last minute- the money had been earmarked for a bike and I needed to stick to the plans.  Still, that little camera with the pancake lens might just be the ticket for mobile-bike photography.


"The director, Roger Christian, has learned
from better films that directors sometimes
tilt their cameras, but he has not learned why."

Roger Ebert referring to Battlefield Earth
(I have not seen the film but appreciate
the reviewer's wry bit of humor)