Shift the angle of the eyes-shift the mood.
Crop Rotation: Consider the three images above. They are all the same image of a recent shoot with model April B. The only difference the images is the amount of rotation that was performed while cropping.
Crop 1 was composed in camera with the eyes level. The crop was designed to place the key-light lit eye at the upper-left Rule of Thirds. The model is looking forward so I don’t have to leave additional look-in-to space to satisfy the Rule of Space. Simple-straight forward. What happens to the image if we decide to shift the eyes along the horizontal? 15° or so ought to do it-or roughly about the height of the model’s eye. More than that and the image starts to look phony.
15° counter-clockwise rotation changes the mood quite a bit. how does it affect you? What are feeling about the relationship of the model to the camera, the girl to you?
Taking it the opposite direction by roughly the same amount is a completely different feel. Which is more playful? More Expectant? More Aloof? Sexier? Glamorous? Professional? Vulnerable? Which would she give to an intimate friend and which would she use on social media?
When we play god with rotation, we change the mood and timbre of an image, an expression, a person. All the baggage we carry in our own personality builds upon the act of rotating a crop 15° one way or the other. Only you can decide which rotation best suits your needs at the time. Play shifty eyes and see what works for the purpose at hand.
Rikk Flohr © 2012