STEP BY STEP / Go at it full tilt

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Try ver­ti­cal tilt

By ap­ply­ing ‘tilt’ to a tilt-shift lens we al­ter its re­la­tion­ship to the sen­sor by mov­ing the plane of fo­cus. This adds in­ter­est to por­traits with an un­nat­u­ral depth of field. Tilt is usu­ally thought of as left to right, whereas in ver­ti­cal ori­en­ta­tion (as here), the up-down tilt is called ‘swing’.

2 Pre­pare the plane

In a nor­mal lens the fo­cus plane is par­al­lel to the sen­sor, but when we use tilt the plane runs di­ag­o­nally through the scene like a wedge. With ver­ti­cal tilt we can cre­ate a very nar­row plane of fo­cus with strong blur ei­ther side by swing­ing up­wards and away from the sub­ject.

3 Open ’er up

In or­der to em­pha­size the blur (es­pe­cially on a wide an­gle tilt-shift like the 24mm used here) we need to use the lens at its widest aper­ture set­ting. Here in a high-key stu­dio light­ing setup we’re in man­ual Mode with the aper­ture at f/3.5, shut­ter speed 1/200 sec and ISO100.

4 Stay fo­cused

Tilt-shift lenses are man­ual fo­cus, so it helps if both the cam­era and the sub­ject are still, en­abling you to en­sure the im­por­tant parts – such as eyes – are sharp. When us­ing a tri­pod, en­gage Live View and zoom in close to the eyes then tweak the fo­cus un­til the lashes are pin-sharp.

5 Tilt with the sub­ject

Tilt-shifts can also ex­tend depth of field. By tilt­ing so the plane of fo­cus fol­lows the an­gle of the sub­ject, we can get front-to-back sharp­ness even shoot­ing wide open. Both these shots were taken at f/3.5, but on the right the tilt runs down­wards, fol­low­ing the line of the body.

6 Blur out­door scenes

The tilt-shift ef­fect works equally well out­doors, where we can cre­ate in­ter­est­ing planes of fo­cus through­out the scene. Here tilt­ing to the left has left both the sub­ject and bridge over his shoul­der sharp, while the rest of the scene is beau­ti­fully blurred.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.