Creative techniques Shift your perspective
If you think you’ve shot it all before, a different lens might be the answer. Tom Welsh uses a tilt-shift lens to shoot a ‘toy town’-style swimming pool
Converting a real-life scene into one that looks like a model is a great creative technique (as is using toy figures in real-life settings – see page 62 for more on this). ‘Miniaturising’ a scene is one of the most popular uses for a tilt-shift lens, and can be used to make viewers look again at a subject that’s been shot a million times before.
Tilt shift-lenses have a variety of uses. From technical architectural shoots, where they can prevent the effect of parallel lines converging, to simply extreme selective focusing, tilt-shift photography can take your camera to a whole new level.
The mechanics of a tilt-shift lens allow free movement between the lens and camera. The lens features two different planes: first there’s the ‘tilting’ element at the front, which can be tilted back and forth to change the plane of focus; then there’s the shift element at the rear, which enables a scene to be recomposed while the camera remains still.
We used the Nikon 24mm f/3.5D ED PC-E lens here. As with all tilt-shift lenses, it is a prime lens, and can
‘Miniaturising’ a scene is one of the most popular uses for a tilt-shift lens, and can be used to make viewers look again at a subject that’s been shot a million times before
only be focused manually. One good feature is that it can be rotated, so both tilt and shift can be applied either horizontally or vertically (or anywhere in between). This makes it very versatile and enables you to vary the effect to your liking.
The main downside of all tilt-shift lenses is that they are specialist items and so are very expensive to buy – the one we used has a street price in the region of £1465/$2200. If you fancy giving them a go without splashing out hundreds of pounds or dollars, they can be hired for a weekend for around £50/$60 from companies such as Calumet Photographic. WiththankstoBathUniversitySports TrainingVillage(www.teambath.com).