Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tilting with Brian

Over on The Fies Files, Brian Fies recently re-posted an article about the technique of "tilt-shifting" a photograph to make its subject look like a table-top miniature. His re-post was triggered by a current insurance commercial that makes use of that process in video form, and his re-post triggered me to try my hand at it. I'll supply a link to his article at the bottom -- I'd far rather have you see his stuff after you see mine so you're not spoiled before you even start looking at these.

Brian's examples are really superb -- I especially like his one of an amphitheater in Athens -- in part because he takes exquisite care to custom "mask" (designate) the areas of a photo that are to be in focus or not in focus in the end product. For the most part, while fooling around with the process in Photoshop yesterday and today, I used the less-convincing but easier and quicker method that online tutorials (such as this one from "Photo Infos") instruct. Only one of the following tilt-shifted images involved custom masking; can you tell which one it is? Please click on the images to see larger views -- the effect might not even be noticeable at the sizes on this page.

Rambler Marlin, 1965

Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics, 2007

Central Park from the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center), 1945, from one of my Dad's slides.

Southwestward view from the Top of the Rock, 1945, from another Lynn Harrington slide.
The brown building at lower-left is the Paramount building, which is dwarfed by a crowd of bigger buildings from this vantage point today. The blue building at center -- the original McGraw Hill building, an art deco icon built at the same time as the Empire State Building -- is not even visible from the Top of the Rock now!

So... now you're ready to appreciate Brian's professional-grade tilt-shifts! Enjoy!


Brian Fies said...

You're too generous to me and too modest about yourself. Those are great--especially at the larger sizes. Love the Rambler. Thanks for sharing.

Adam said...

Speaking of the carriage that carried the Harringtons west, the thin black shadowy thing under it's hindquarters looks a little suspicious.... no?

Ronnie said...

Fun to see the McGraw-Hill building. My Dad did a lot of work with them, almost went to work for them at one point. I found that building magical.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Nah, Brian, I'm not being too generous to you. Your care in masking is enviable. But I am pleased with this little bit of trickery.

Adam, the Marlin isn't the Rambler that carried this part of the Harrington clan west -- that was a '64 brown Rambler Classic, standard shift (that your mom put the fan through the radiator with once) that we bought with a $400 inheritance. But that shadow is a little odd-looking, isn't it?

Ronnie, I'm amazed at the difference in this view from '45 to now -- that great building stood out then, but is completely subsumed now.