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  1. #1
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    Faux Miniature Photography?

    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. #2
    david b's Avatar
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    tilt shift and it's primarily large format

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilt-shift_photography

  3. #3
    AgX
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    Use a lens with a spherical focal plane.

  4. #4
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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. #5

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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.
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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.
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  7. #7
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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.

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  8. #8
    Denis P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    David Kennerly (or was it Duncan? I forget) even used it for congressional hearings to isolate the tiny president amid the crowd.
    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" )

  9. #9
    Denis P.'s Avatar
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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. #10
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    But I don't have the money for Large Format.

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