Faux Miniature Photography?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by AutumnJazz, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I don't think I spelled it right, but I'm talking about the kind of photography where some kind of birds-eye view is taken of some kind of cityscape or something, but it is done in such a way so that it appears to be a photograph of a scale model, and not the real world. Adult Swim uses photographs like that in their bumps.

    I think there is a wikipedia article about it, but I can't find it.

    So, anyway, I want to know how to achieve this affect. Is it just photoshop manipulation or does it have to do with lenses or something else?
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Use a lens with a spherical focal plane.
     
  4. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    You use tilt on a tilt-shift lens or view camera to bring only a small part of the scene into focus.

    My personal theory is this: the brain expects a large depth of field on things which are distant - ie. It expects everything at infinity to be in focus typically. In this sort of photo you simulate a very narrow DoF by tilting the focus plane; your brain rationalises that the scene must be a miniature viewed close up.
     
  5. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    Tim's right - it's mainly a consequence of a narrow field of focus induced by tilt.

    Finding the right perspective (point of view), usually elevated, and using a slightly long normal lens also helps by minimizing the appearance of perspective convergence, which is what you'd expect looking at a small model from above.
     
  6. walter23

    walter23 Subscriber

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    BTW, people also have reproduced the effect by just using selective blur in photoshop, but it's not as convincing. With a real lens you've got objects at different placements blurring appropriately, whereas in photoshop you can only really blur things in a rougher geometric sense without any depth (unless you put in an unbelievable amount of work and have an incredible amount of skill).

    Wait this is apug, I shouldn't be talking about such things. I guess it's okay, I'm saying it doesn't work very well compared to using the right lens movements.
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Almost all the examples you see these days are photoshop, using the "lens blur" filter and a flat gradient for the depth. It was last year's Clever Thing and always looked lame to me.

    Amazingly, in a lot of regional art markets, (say, Japan, Brazil, or Finland), the first person to drag such prints into the local galleries got widely acclaimed as the "inventor" of this idea. They are all bogus though. David Kennerly (or was it Duncan? I forget) even used it for congressional hearings to isolate the tiny president amid the crowd.
     
  8. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    It was David Burnett, and it was not photoshopped. He used an Aero Ektar lens (178/2.5) with a Speed Graphic (later dubbed "Burnett Combo" :smile:)
     
  9. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Actually, I might have mixed up the photos... perhaps Bjorke was referring to another photo... I remember the Burnett shot of Kerry, but not at the Congressional hearing, but during an election rally or something.... so it might have been another photo - but it has all the characteristics discussed here (tilt with very narrow DOF, isolating the main subject).
     
  10. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    But I don't have the money for Large Format. :sad:
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    then i guess you gotta do the lensbaby thing :wink:
     
  12. Maris

    Maris Member

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    The easy way to get the effect is to take a photograph of a photograph of the scene. The second photograph is most effective when the camera's focus plane is not parallel to the original picture and the lens is a maximum aperture (or tilted) for minimum depth of field.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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  14. Paul.A

    Paul.A Member

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    Tilt and shift can be done on an enlarger easily enough. Just remember to put it back to normal when you're done otherwise you'll be cursing your camera and technique when you can't find focus.
     
  15. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I don't have an enlarger...yet. I need to find out how much they cost.

    I think that developing film would be too daunting for me right now, but I think I could pull off making some prints in my bathroom.