“Vernazza” by Sylvie van Nerum (Or Dutch Tilt to Add Tension)

"Vernazza" by Sylvie van Nerum

“Vernazza” by Sylvie van Nerum

There are times when the emotions we want to communicate aren’t always easy in a medium that results in a two-dimensional image.  People experience things differently, and they certainly have different fears and interests.  So when it comes to communicating your emotions through a photograph, sometimes you need to use some classic framing techniques.  Vernazza is the name of this photograph by Sylvie van Nerum that features one such framing technique:  The Dutch Tilt.

A dutch tilt (or canted angle, or what have you) is a simple technique.  You simply tilt the camera so that it is no longer even with the horizon.  It doesn’t take much to have an impact.  Even a slight angle will start to introduce the feeling of uneasiness or tension into the photograph.  It’s a technique that is often used when trying to convey the feeling of anxiety like vertigo or claustrophobia.  In the case of Sylvie’s photograph, you get a little bit of both.

In this tiny dark alley, you get a large range of textures and colors.  The stairs and the lower walls have a really rustic look to them.  A straight photo would still illustrate those features and such a photo would be a great addition to any travelogue.  But that is a documentary style photograph, a travel photo, that illustrates the scene without any alteration.  Would such a photograph have an emotional connection with your viewers?  Possibly, but most likely only for those who know the spot or who would be inspired by such a location.  A framing technique like the dutch tilt may not follow photojournalist traditions, but it will better convey the tension that you wish to share.  Any time you convey emotion through your photographs, you immediately connect with more people.  There are a great number of ways you can capture and document your travels.  But how you connect with your viewers should always be a major consideration.

The photostream of Sylvie van Nerum features many travel style photographs, but that’s not all.  Sylvie seems to dabble in all sorts of photography, including portraiture, fashion, landscape and street photography.  Her photographs have a raw beauty to them, regardless of what genre she is working in.  You would learn and be inspired by her work and her imagination.

The photos featured here each week are selected from our Shutter Photo at Flickr  group photo pool.  Aside from the potential to be selected for a feature, it’s also a great resource for inspiration and feedback.  If that sounds good to you, please consider joining the group and sharing your work.  


About Author

D. Travis North is a professional Landscape Architect, a Freelance Photographer and founder of Shutter Photo. Ever since he picked up his first SLR, his father's Nikon N2000, he's been hooked on photography. Travis likes to photograph urban environments, architectural details and has a new-found interest in close-up photography. His work can be found at D. Travis North Photography. Follow Travis on twitter: @dtnorth.

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