Data + Design Project

Now That’s A Funky Camera

Monday 10.31.2011 , Posted by
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Tilt shift photography is all the rage these days. Even though the lenses have been around since the early 60s.  So what is tilt shift? Using the special lenses, perspective and depth of field in photos can be optically altered to produce images that are not what they seem.  In the more modern incarnation of the technique both the tilt and the shift of the lenses are combined to create photos that look almost like miniature models… even though they are the real thing.

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Photo: Jose Minarro Vivancos

Tilt lenses or tilt adapters were originally invented for landscape photography when a photographer would have trouble getting the entire image into focus.  The tilt of the lens would allow both the foreground and background to be in focus at the same time.  Shift lenses were invented to deal with problems with perspective distorting the image; for instance, when photographing a tall building with a normal lens, the structure can sometimes look like it is tilting as the sides are bent by distortion.

The new tilt shift lenses sold by most of the major manufacturers have become much more affordable.  With the combination of the two functions into one lens, photographers are using the lenses to make the images look more distorted, instead of their original purpose.  The results are some pretty incredible images and with digital cameras, now we are seeing many videos with the same effect (like in Paul’s recent post about Burning Man). The lenses are transforming our reality into itsy bitsy fantasy lands.

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Photo: Jose Minarro Vivancos

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Photo: Jose Minarro Vivancos

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Photo: Dheeraj

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Photo: massay

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Photo: Scott

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Photo: Pattagon

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Photo: ArnarBi

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Photo: Automatt

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Photo: Dutchb0y

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Steven Shoppman

Written by Steven Shoppman



Steven Shoppman is a contributor to The Visual News and an avid explorer. In 2009 he received the honor of "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure Magazine for his expedition driving two trucks around the world. The expedition was named "The World by Road" He continues to plan new adventures and you can visit his personal website to learn more about him at www.stevenshoppman.com.

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Comments

  1. Best set of tilt shift photos I’ve ever seen! Really impressive.

  2. The marina-picture really looks wierd, as in the double-line you get by gradually wiping in a defocused version of the original. Was that tiltshift in fact done i photoshop?

  3. Most of those images are manipulated normal images, not taken with a tilt-shift lens.

  4. Tilting and shifting lenses relative to the imaging surface (film) has been around a LOT longer than just since the 1960s. Large format cameras have been doing lens movements like these since the late 1800′s.

  5. I dont quite understand it but at the same time, its awesome XD

  6. I like it.
    I can’t understand why it look so untruely?

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