Dutch angle of a man Photo by Gorodenkoff on shutterstock

What is Dutch Angle | How to Use in Photography?

January 5, 2023

Dutch angle photography is a technique used to create an exciting and engaging image. It is a creative approach to photography that you can use to create an atmosphere of tension and unease.

In this article, we will discuss what is a Dutch angle and how it can be used in photography. So, if you want to add a unique twist to your photography, read on to learn more about Dutch angle photography.

What is a Dutch Angle?

A Dutch angle, is a technique used in photography and cinematography where the camera is tilted on its axis, resulting in diagonal lines and a sense of instability or disorientation in the frame. The Dutch angle is achieved by tilting the camera to the left or right so that the horizon is not level within the frame.

Dutch angle of a fashionable girl standing on street

Photo by Wirestock Creators on shutterstock

Why Use Dutch Angle in Photography?

There are a few reasons why photographers may choose to use the Dutch angle in their work:

  • Create a sense of tension or unease: The Dutch angle can add a sense of tension or unease to a photograph, as the diagonal lines and tilted horizon can disrupt the viewer's sense of balance and create a feeling of instability.
  • Add visual interest: The Dutch angle can add visual interest to a photograph by breaking up the symmetry and balance of the frame.
  • Emphasize a subject: Tilting the camera can help draw the viewer's attention to a specific subject within the frame.

Creative Ways to Get Dutch Angle Shot

Here are a few creative ways to get a Dutch angle shot:


Debubbling the camera for a Dutch angle

Image Credit: youtube.com

Debubbling the camera is a technique that entails unbolting the tripod's ball head and then leaning the tripod to one side. The ball head is the tripod part that holds the camera in place, and you can get a Dutch-angle shot by tipping it over to the side. This type of shot is often used to create a feeling of unease or tension in a scene, as it is an unusual angle. By debubbling the camera, you can ensure the shot is properly framed, as it can be hard to compose a shot at an angle.

Short Leg

Dutch angle by shortening one of the  tripod legs

Image Credit: youtube.com

An alternative method, which some may caution against, is to intentionally unbalance the tripod by shortening one of its legs. This can create a feeling of danger in the shot, but it can also be hazardous in practice, particularly for larger cinema cameras that may be more prone to falling. It's important to constantly keep a hold of the camera to prevent it from toppling over. However, if you choose to pursue this technique, you can adjust the degree of the angle by gradually reducing the length of the leg.


using a wedge or sandbag to elevate one edge of the camera plate to get a Dutch angle shot

Image Credit: youtube.com

Placing the camera on a smooth surface and using a wedge or sandbag to elevate one edge of the camera plate is a simple and affordable way to get a Dutch angle shot. With this easy trick, you can tilt the camera safely at a dramatic angle because it is supported by a solid base and won't fall very far in case it tips over. It's important to remember, though, that using this technique, you won't be able to control the camera while the shot is in motion because you must take off the camera from the tripod head to get the desired angle.

Professional Dutch Head

Professional Dutch Head

Image Credit: youtube.com

Use a Dutch head, for example, the Cam Tank from Matthews, to achieve a Dutch angle professionally and reliably. This specialized camera tool has precise markings that enable you to tilt the tripod head at particular angles, and it can be fitted between the tripod head and the camera or used on the ground. This enables you to match the tilt used in earlier shots or gradually increase it from shot to shot. Dutch heads are a useful tool for any filmmaker because they offer a precise and manageable way to achieve dramatic camera angles.

Tips to Dutch Angle Photography

Select an Interesting Subject

When using the Dutch angle technique, it's important to find a visually interesting subject. Look for something that will stand out and create a visually dynamic scene.

Choose the Right Lens

A wide-angle lens will help to create the exaggerated perspective of a Dutch angle shot. If you don't have a wide-angle lens, you can use a normal lens and move back to get more of the scene in the frame.

Dutch angle shot of walking family

Photo by BAZA Production on shutterstock

Find the Right Angle

To create a Dutch angle, tilt the camera to the left or right so that the horizon line is no longer parallel to the edges of the frame. This will create a sense of uneasiness and tension that will be key to the shot.


The Dutch angle can be a great tool to add tension and unease to your photographs. It can create visual interest, emphasize a subject, or convey a specific emotion or mood. Remember to be mindful of when it is appropriate and use it sparingly.

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