The Daily Focal Point

February 11, 2009

Tilt Shift Photography

Filed under: Uncategorized — cabenelson @ 10:55 pm

Do you want to see something amazing? A friend of mine emailed this to me a few months back and I haven’t been able to forget about it or even FIGURE IT OUT. It just blows my mind… I keep asking myself, “How the H?!”

See the video below. This is what they call Tilt Shift photography. Tilt Shift photography is a trick of the eye basically to make real sized objects look miniaturized. Usually the photographer will take higher angles and use a specific lens that will significantly shorter the depth of field. By using angles, a shallow depth of field, and high contrast with the photos, it tricks the eye into thinking that’s a model version of what your looking at. What’s really trippy is when photographers take time lapse photos using tilt-shift and sequence them all together.

It’s amazing… check out the video below and you’ll see what I mean


(WordPress is being lame and isn’t letting me embed it into my site – Click on the link and hit the full screen button)

Amazing stuff right? You can read more about it here and see 50 Beautiful Examples of Tilt-Shift Photography here. There is one photographer (who created the video above) and I highly encourage you to visit his site to see more of his work. CLICK HERE.

This sequence video of time lapse tilt-shift photos was done when the photographer was allowed to tag along with the Australian Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service Team.



  1. So freakn’ cool, I had to watch them all.

    I don’t know much about photography, but maybe I can give some insight on other parts of the movie. So I understand that you use a specific lens, high zoom with a narrow focus range, and that you photograph from a high angle, as if you were looking down on a model. But I was sure that there was more to it than that. And I think this is it. It’s the intervals in which he took the pictures. Scale is everything. Large things have inertia and hence take longer to move. Large waves move slower. The larger the item, the slower it responds. So to make it appear as though the boats or persons are models bobbing in a bathtub, you need to pick a frame rate the expresses the movement from a model boat to a commercial cargo carrier. Or a better way of thinking about it would be if you dropped something in the tub and you timed how long it would take for the waves to make it to the sides. Now apply that time line to the wake of a boat going through a harbor. I think in some of his earlier movies the timing is off, but by this one he is getting pretty darn close.

    Thank you Caleb, I think I’m a better person for experiencing this.

    Comment by AddyShmaddy — February 12, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  2. Awesome! I have never seen tilt shift in video, only in still photographs. I have tried this technique using Photoshop Elements 5.0. While it can be done with PS Elements, PS3 or PS4 would be more simple. Much cheaper than a tilt/shift lens.

    Comment by Rob — February 12, 2009 @ 10:11 am

  3. Uh. I felt like I was looking through those old toys…what were they called… a View-O-Matic or something? Anyway, I felt like I could have stuck my big fat thumb into those images and squashed the people.

    Those were awesome!

    Comment by Abby — February 14, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

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