Real Life-Size Made Miniature: 7 Tilt-Shift Photographers
Article by Delana, filed under Photography & Video in the Art category.

tilt shift photography

It doesn’t take much to fool the human mind into thinking it’s seeing something other than reality.  To the casual observer, the subjects of these photographs look like incredibly detailed miniatures.  But if you look closer, you’ll see that this isn’t play time – these are real-life scenes made to look like tiny models through the magic of tilt-shift photography.

Ronaldo Fonseca

Ronaldo Fonseca tilt shift photography

Ronaldo Fonseca tilt shift photography

Ronaldo Fonseca tilt shift photography

Ronaldo Fonseca tilt shift photography

(images via: Ronyjux)

The term “tilt-shift photography” refers to the method of tilting the camera lens to distort the plane of focus and shifting the lens to distort the perspective.  Today, most photographers simply take a digital photograph and apply the tilt-shift distortions via software.  Ronaldo Fonseca uses the traditional method to create tilt-shift images with no digital manipulation.

Marcus Spedding

Marcus Spedding tilt shift photography toytown Japan

Marcus Spedding tilt shift photography toytown Japan

Marcus Spedding tilt shift photography toytown Japan

Marcus Spedding tilt shift photography toytown Japan

Marcus Spedding tilt shift photography toytown Japan

(images via: Kasei)

Aerial views of cities are well-suited to tilt-shift photography.  The blurring at the edges of the photograph simulates the effect of a macro lens on a much smaller field.  These photos from Japan depict what looks like a perfectly miniaturized city, complete with tiny people and beautifully detailed trees.

Kris Kros Photography

Kris Kros tilt shift photography

Kris Kros tilt shift photography

Kris Kros tilt shift photography

Kris Kros tilt shift photography

Kris Kros tilt shift photography

(images via: Kris Kros)

One of the most difficult aspects of tilt-shift photography is finding the right conditions.  The lighting has to be bright and full in order to turn out a convincing finished photo because those are the lighting conditions one would expect to find with a photograph of a true miniature.  These pictures from Kris Kros Photography take advantage of excellent lighting conditions to make delightful images of “tiny” scenes.

Modest and Jill

Modest and Jill tilt shift photography

Modest and Jill tilt shift photography

Modest and Jill tilt shift photography

Modest and Jill tilt shift photography

Modest and Jill tilt shift photography

(images via: Modest and Jill)

The subject matter is just as important as the angle and lighting in tilt-shift photography.  If a subject is too complicated or detailed, it isn’t believable as a model.  But if it’s too plain, it is difficult to notice the changed perspective.  Husband and wife duo Modest and Jill have compiled a small but high-quality collection of tilt-shift photographs from cities all over North and South America.  Their subjects are visually exciting, but not so complicated that the illusion is ruined.

David Legnon

Donnie Dark0 David Legnon tilt shift boston photography

Donnie Dark0 David Legnon tilt shift boston photography

Donnie Dark0 David Legnon tilt shift boston photography

(images via: donniedark0)

These tilt-shift photographs of a Boston neighborhood show another way to be creative with this optical illusion.  David Legnon‘s hand putting the “finishing touch” into the scene reinforces the illusion that the photograph of the city is, in fact, a photograph of a tiny model Boston.

Olivo Barbieri

Olivo Barbieri tilt shift photography

Olivo Barbieri tilt shift photography

Olivo Barbieri tilt shift photography

Olivo Barbieri tilt shift photography

Olivo Barbieri tilt shift photography

(images via: Metropolis)

Olivo Barbieri’s venture into tilt-shift photography arose from a desire to put some magic into his photography.  By photographing scenes from a helicopter with a tilt-shift lens, he has been able to capture phenomenal pictures from around the world.

Keith Loutit

Using a combination of tilt-shift and time-lapse photography, Australian photographer Keith Loutit creates enchanting Lilliputian worlds where itty-bitty people enjoy their leisure time. His goal is to get people to take a second look at their surroundings and notice things that they may not ordinarily pay attention to.

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