Saturday, June 30, 2007

My teeny tiny world

There is a lens called a Tilt-Shift that is used by architectural photographers. They use it to get the lines of convergence right - or to make the building look like it's supposed to instead of looking giant on the bottom and little on top. Or like it's curving. (There's lots of math involved too and to be honest, it's kind of making my brain hurt.) Canon describes it thusly:

"These lenses expand photographic possibilities. Tilt movements allow you to obtain a wide depth of field even at the maximum aperture and still keep the entire subject in focus. Shift movements correct the trapezoidal effect seen in pictures taken of tall objects, so as not to distort the subject."

They say it much better than I ever could.

Unfortunately, these tilt-shift lenses are pretty expensive. And while it's nice to have good glass in your arsenal, I'm still a year or so away from paying off the gear I just bought. So, I'm going to have to stick with renting or ... Photoshop Magic.

Photographers have found a neat byproduct of the tilt-shift lenses. It's the optical illusion in the depth of field that tends to have a "miniaturization" effect. When the technique is applied to aerial photos of cityscapes, for example, it takes on the look and feel of the mockup of a tiny city. I love this effect and have spent some time this last week finding tutorials on how to "fake it".

A couple years ago I took a trip to Manhattan and took the tour up the Empire State building. The photos of the city below me were alright, but I thought they would be perfect candidates to try out my new trick. I'll include a couple of the originals and "mini'd" versions so you can judge for yourself if I acheived the intended effect.





Here's a couple more that I played with:

I must have an affinity for itty bitty things... It makes me long for the days of
Micro Machines....

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