Have you ever asked yourself why you tilt the camera when shooting? What purpose does it serve and how does it improve your composition? What is it adding to your image? I used to “tilt” all the time until someone pointed out that all I was showing by doing this was a lack of compositional ability. I could not find a good composition so was doing this to compensate. I naturally disagreed and fought this for many months but soon came to realize that this person was right. After all, when have you ever been to a gallery and seen tilted landscape or portrait paintings from the old masters? They had centuries to do this but never did - because in general it does not enhance the picture.
There are of course exceptions with photography such as emphasizing movement or when the background it very blurred due to a shallow depth of field. As a rule I will not tilt when there are strong horizontal or vertical lines as these emphasize the tilt. On the rare occasion that I do it will be when photographing down on a subject from above (see image) or when photographing two people together with the person in the background out of focus.
To my mind, if you are shooting for an album, ultimately you will also have horizon lines in all manner of directions which to my mind gives the viewer a sense of sea sickness. I prefer to make my albums clean and design led which means constant horizontal horizons. I really do believe that it makes a huge difference.
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