The primary use of oblique angles was to make the viewer feel unease, disoriented and stressful. Firstly appeared in the movies of German expressionism in 1920′ and 30′ (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Man with a Movie Camera) as an attempt to visualise madness and social destruction. That’s why it took the name dutch from deutch which means german. After ’40 the Deutch angle was used extensively in cinema to dramatize off-balance moments in many movies (The Third Man, Batman TV Series, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood by Tim Burton, 12 Monkeys by Terry Gilliam, etc.), but also in horror video games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil.
|Rotunda Black and White by Papanikolaou Joanna on 500px|
In photography, hats being placed at an inclined angle made popular the term ‘jaunty angle‘ as a creative shot that reveals diverse aesthetic and artistic experimentation. But as the other overused techniques, like selective coloring that I described the previous week, it should be established by a reason – not only used for the use. And, it should be supported by a concept and by the composition.
When I photographed Rotunda, I hadn’t plan to photoshot Deutch angles. But, standing outside the yard from this position, I saw the tower in perfect symmetry with the railings and of course, I couldn’t let this detail go withou capturing it. In the other photos from a beautiful beach in Chalkidiki, I got bored of the same straight lines in the horizon; yellow sand, aqua marine sea, blue sky so after a while I tilted my camera to change the view and frame the same pretty lines in a different way.
Horizon and scapes, architecture, portraits and street photography are ideal to experiment the Dutch angle in photography. But I guess is essential always to examine why you will tilt your camera in this shot. Like the film critic Roger Ebert said for the director of the science-fiction film Battlefield Earth (2000), Roger Christian: “He has learned from better films that directors sometimes tilt their cameras, but he has not learned why“.