2 Responses to “PhotoGeek Week#70”

  1. The_BigBlueCat October 10, 2008 at 1:05 pm #

    Well done guys. Usual standard … good for a laugh, plus some useful info to boot! Glad to see listener-prompting can spur you into delivering …. when’s Tandy coming back on? After Bathurst?

  2. james October 17, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Guys,

    I’ve had some experience shooting with a tilt shift lens and have come up with a few rules as to why the miniature effect works or doesn’t.

    It works best when you replicate the viewing conditions of looking at a little model. First and most obvious is the depth of field, get your head down close and look at a couple of keys on your keyboard from a few inches away, even your eye has a short depth of field when this close as the aperture of the iris in your eye is a much closer ratio to the size of the object you are looking at. Just like when you are shooting macro photos, you need to stop down to tiny apertures to get a decent depth of field.

    The other less obvious trick is to get some height on your object, the Sydney videos are very good in this regard. Normally when looking at a model you will be above it and looking down on at least a 20 degree angle, the shift part of a tilt shift lens is great for this as you can make it look like it’s shot from a position higher then you actually are. Getting up on top of a building or hill is the other option.

    The speed and jerkiness works really well here, if it was fluid movement at real speed, a lot of the effect would be lost.

    Here’s a couple of examples of mine:




    I’ve written to you guys before about my work in the feature film industry. In making these tilt shift fake miniature effects work properly, it helps to understand what DOP’s on a miniatures shoot have to overcome to make their models believable as lifesize objects.

    They use huge banks of lights, run through massive diffusers to utterly bake the objects with light. This lets them stop down to tiny apertures and also run the cameras at a higher frame rate (to slow down motion of trees etc, making the motions seem larger) Also using periscope lenses lets them get the camera right down into the mini set and get a more natural viewing position.