12 April 2007

Olivo Barbieri: a shifty character

So I was doing my usual rounds of aimless web surfing the a few weeks ago, and I came across the unusual photography of one Olivo Barbieri. This particular gentleman likes to hang out of the side of helicopters with his funky tilt-shift lens and take photographs of landmarks to make them look like little train-set sized miniatures.

Pyrmont in miniature!

I really wanted to give photos like that a go - but the lens is costly, and I couldn't justify the expenditure (not to mention the fact that I don't have an SLR to attach the damn thing to anyway). Imagine my joy, then, when I found out that you can quite easily fake the effect using pretty much any decent graphics editing package. I've got this whole big thing about making cheaper cameras do funky things via post-processing - you might have noticed :P

To acquire the right kind of photo to 'tilt-shift' (try saying that ten times quickly), it helps if you are high-up looking down. The above photo was originally taken by Briony when we were coming in to Sydney (from Melbourne) to land. I ran it through the tilt-shifting process (just a bit of masking and blurring), leading to more-or-less instant miniaturisation of good ole Sydney.

toyboats on jones bay wharf

I took the above photo from the back porch at work, and again tilt-shifted it. There's a giant, enormous flickr group dedicated to faking the tilt-shift effect - it's worth a browse to see some really peculiar photos.

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