As photographers, we usually strive to ensure that our images are perfectly vertical or horizontal.  Examples include shots involving the sea, where the rule is to always have a straight horizon, or images of buildings that shouldn’t be leaning over.  If we get it wrong we can usually correct it in post-processing.

If you feel like breaking the rules try giving your image a ‘Dutch Tilt’.  Also known as ‘Dutch Angle’, ‘Canted Angle’ or ‘German Angle’ – the Dutch Tilt is a camera technique whereby you tilt the camera to one side to put the horizon on a diagonal or give your image a jaunty look. 

The term ‘Dutch Angle’ is thought to have come from the word ‘Deutsche’, for ‘German Angle’, originating from German cinematography during the time of the First World War.  The 1919 German film ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ is acknowledged as first using the Deutsche Angle to emphasise a theme of madness.  The technique soon made its way to Hollywood, being used in classic movies such as ‘Citizen Kane’, ‘The Third Man’ and ‘The Maltese Falcon’. The technique is widely used to this day to add a dramatic element to a movie or still image.

The Dutch Tilt is widely used in fashion and portrait photography. 

Here’s one of my shots of Leonor on the beach (click to enlarge).


Leonor taken with the camera held at a Dutch Tilt

Feel free to comment…

Leave a Reply

Twitter updates

No public Twitter messages.


  • Shop for Cameras and Lenses at Amazon
  • Shop for Camera Bags at Amazon
  • Find Great Photographers on Amazon
  • Compare Tablets at Amazon