At Home With The Dutch Angle

One of the fun things about the 1960s Batman show with Adam West is that they always shot the villains with a skewed horizon. Anytime we saw a villain plotting with his henchmen, or hanging out in their lair, the camera was always several degrees off from an even horizon. I was searching the internet for confirmation and discussion of this, and  found that this technique has multiple names, the most common of which seems to be the Dutch angle, although it is also known as the German angle, canted angle, Batman angle, and the jaunty ankle (as in “he likes to wear his cap at a jaunty angle).”

It was used a lot in German expressionist films, which is how it got the “German” moniker, and also the “Dutch” name, because German in German is Deutsch and in English that sounds more like Dutch than German. Go figure. I love stuff like that, and I also love that some people now call this the Batman angle.

Anyway, I have previously and many times over discussed my frustration with my inability to get camera shots lined up straight. I have been more careful in the past year or so, and have gotten better but still imperfect results. Most of my off-kilter angles from this shoot were unintentional, as I was kind of a mess that day, with the breathing apparatus, a problem with my eyeglasses (one lens kept deciding to pop out), uneven ground, constantly shooting from a low height, led to a lot of unintentional jaunty angles. But it has worked out, as I have found that with these abandoned urbex subjects that I like the Dutch angle. And now I have many names for it.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I never thought about the angle used in Batman, but you are right. I think every villain was shot like that. It has worked to perfection here. This is a beautiful image.

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