The other day, I went out and bought a Tilt-Shift lens. I’ve borrowed or rented them on several occasions before, but I’ve always wanted to own one. They’re designed specifically for architecture use, and allow you to correct angular perspective, as well as change the direction of the depth of field plane. I get enough regular architecture work to justify the purchase as I tend to rent one for every gig, but more than that, since I’ve been shooting a lot of timelapse work for Magic Window lately, I wanted to experiment with using a tilt-shift lens for that.
When used “incorrectly”, changing the depth of field plane to create out-of-focus areas at the top and bottom of the image tricks the human brain to think that they’re looking at models… kind of the opposite effect of the miniature model making used for visual effects in films like Star Wars. When coupled with the jerky, non-fluid motion of timelapse photography, the result is amplified. Several years ago, I was inspired partially by the work of Australian photographer Keith Loutit. His video “Metal Heart” is one of my favorites.
Armed with my new lens, I set out to wander around San Francisco and get comfortable enough to use it professionally.
I’m pretty happy with the results.