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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Discovering tilt-shift photography

I just learned a new photo technique just in time for the new year. I was reading the Digital Photo Buzz blog after seeing this tweet about their top photography articles of 2012. I'd seen references to tilt-shift here and there but never investigated. When I read the article "10 amazing examples of tilt shift photography" and realized you could make real life scenes look miniaturized and toy-like I couldn't wait to try it!

Central Park Gondolier

I dug out some images from my trip to NYC last summer, that I have yet to write about, and gave tilt-shifting a go.

The streets of New York

Technically speaking my images are a faux, postprocessing, tilt-shift effect. Wikipedia says: "Tilt–shift" encompasses two different types of movements: rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane, called tilt, and movement of the lens parallel to the image plane, called shift."

I'm not even sure if my micro four thirds camera is capable of doing this. If it is I'd like to learn how to shoot this way. If it isn't, I'll stick with using Photoshop to create more of these tilf-shift effect images from now on because I love the way they look.

The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island

I should probably read some tutorials about how to use Photoshop to do this but for today, I winged it:
  1. I made a duplicate layer of the background image.
  2. I applied the blur lens filter.
  3. I used the erase tool on three settings: A small airbrush at 100% opacity, a medium airbrush at 75% opacity and a large airbrush at 50% opacity all centered on the same area(s).
  4. I then selected the background image and made two adjustments both brightening and saturating the background layer to boost its color intensity.

I'm hooked! Here's a side by side comparison for you. I'm really shocked what a difference such a few simple adjustments can make. When I learn more I'll post a more in-depth tutorial for you.

Thanks to my friend and photographer Mark Stagi for the great information I found on his Digital Photo Buzz blog.

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