Add a cre­ative twist

Play with toys

NPhoto - - Night Vision -

1 Take con­trol This time the cre­ative ver­sion was slightly more com­pli­cated. In­stead of us­ing our stan­dard, wide-an­gle zoom, we at­tached a 90mm ‘per­spec­tive cor­rec­tion’ (or tilt-shift) lens, and then tilted the front el­e­ments down as far as they would go, us­ing the dial on the side. This had the ef­fect of blur­ring ev­ery­thing ex­cept a very nar­row band of the scene.

2 Stay fo­cus ed Zoom­ing right in on the pre­view im­age in Live View, we then used the fo­cus ring on the PC lens to man­u­ally fo­cus pre­cisely on the mid­dle of the near­est bridge, Black­fri­ars. This en­sured that only this bridge, and any­thing cross­ing it, would be in fo­cus, and it’s this ex­treme dif­fer­en­tial fo­cus that gives our fin­ished im­age its toy-town feel (since shal­low depth of field is typ­i­cal of model vil­lage shots). 3 Freeze the mo­tion For the toy-town ef­fect to work, we needed to cars to be as static as pos­si­ble, as any blur­ring would make them look less like toys (or com­pletely in­vis­i­ble if the shut­ter speed was slow enough). To keep the shut­ter speed as high as pos­si­ble, we set an aper­ture of f/2.8 (which had the ad­van­tage of blur­ring the fore­ground and back­ground even more) and raised the ISO to 800.

4 Time it to per­fec­tion This gave us a shut­ter speed of 1/30 sec, which was just fast enough to freeze the move­ment of pedes­tri­ans and slower mov­ing traf­fic on the bridge. Lastly, we waited un­til a boat was pass­ing un­der the bridge be­fore re­leas­ing the shut­ter, which added to the toy-town feel. Again, a re­mote re­lease was use­ful for get­ting the tim­ing just right.

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