A Reykjavik experiment in tilt and shift

25 Apr

English photographer Kris Atomic (not, unfortunately, her actual name) visited the Icelandic capital recently, and was talked into shooting it from a helicopter by her mom.

Trying not to vomit, she managed to bring back some spectacular shots, made memorable by her use of the tilt/shift photographic technique.

Tilt/shift (fully explained here) changes the shape of the depth of field and allows for selective focus, which is what gives her Reykjavik shots the look of Miniature World at the Empress Hotel.

I hunted around and found more astounding examples of this style from around the world.

Thanks to Michela Byl for bringing Kris Atomic to my attention!


12 Responses to “A Reykjavik experiment in tilt and shift”

  1. Amy April 25, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    I love tilt/shift photographs! There is a commercial that uses them to create stop-motion animation (of course, I can’t think of what the commercial is for) that is very cool.
    That technique really works for those Reykjavik photos cause the buildings and roof-tops are such vibrant colors that they really do look like toys.

  2. dougbrowncreative April 25, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    It’s like Lego-land. I would love an opportunity to try this technique out. You can see from the tilt/shift write-up that you have to have the right camera set-up. if you can think of that commercial, let me know – thanks Amy!

  3. Amy April 25, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I wonder if it’s possible to re-create this look using Photoshop?

    I did find that commercial, too. It’s from Allstate Insurance: http://youtu.be/oK4nCqddc18

  4. dougbrowncreative April 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Reading into the comments section on the photographer’s blog, it appears she did just that! Thanks a million for the commercial link Amy. It is really well done. Even works better than still photography IMO.

  5. Drew April 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Cool tilt shift montage I found a while back. Check it out!

    2:20 + 2:40 are amazing!

  6. dougbrowncreative April 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Danny, that’s a great link. The airport one at 2:46 blows my mind. Thanks for sharing it! (Love that your name shows as Drew.)

  7. mike fromowitz April 25, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Those are not real photos.
    That’s a model on a tabletop.

  8. dougbrowncreative April 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Oh drat. You figured us out. April Fool’s everyone!

    What? It’s not April 1st?

  9. Dale Baglo April 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    The real tilt/shift lenses are pretty pricey. And although I haven’t personally tried it, you can apparently come close using Photoshop. An important factor is your vantage point. It helps the illusion if you’re looking down at your scenery.

  10. dougbrowncreative April 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Good points Dale. I am investigating further to find out how Kris achieved this, but it looks like Photoshop was the culprit!

  11. Brad April 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    You can create your own tilt shift masterpieces with free online tools – I’ve played with this site before with some good results: http://tiltshiftmaker.com
    And I have to link to my favourite use of tilt shift – Miniature Vancouver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAX-lHnNmuo

  12. dougbrowncreative April 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    That’s brilliant Brad – thanks a lot for sharing that. Now we can all run off and upload our photos to make tilt/shift landscapes and beach shots. I have tried it and had good luck. You obviously need the aerial perspective in the photo to make this truly work.

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