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

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

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).

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