18 Feb 2012

Experimenting with tilt-shift

As a general rule I don't monkey around with Photoshop too much. For work, I don't need it - the theatres and companies that hire me want high-impact but natural images for the most part. For my personal taste I prefer images that are not touched-up to the nines; I think there comes a point when the image, treated too heavily, stops being a photograph and becomes a piece of design. That being said, every so often I come across a style or a new technique that I think would be fun to try, and here's one: tilt-shift photography.

Tilt-shift lenses are available to buy (if you have a few hundred pounds to spare) and in the good old days of film were used for architectural and other types of photography where it was vital to keep the verticals perpendicular. Then someone clever discovered that you can use them for a creative effect; instead of measuring your degrees and angles to keep things in check, you can manipulate the lens to give you an extremely narrow point of focus. This, coupled with an elevated viewpoint, can have the effect of making the real world depicted in the image appear like a scale model. It's not an everyday technique but I really like the effect it's given the two images above. (These were shot many moons ago at the Cinque Terre in Italy and the Canal St Martin in Paris). 

There are tons of online tutorials if you want to try it yourself, I used this one and twenty minutes of trial and error!


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