Sunday, January 9, 2011

Makeshift Tilt/Shift

Disclaimer - non-photo nerds need not continue reading...

On this second blustery winter day of our weekend, we decided to stay indoors all day once again. Being inside for so long makes one slightly antsy, and so to fend off the ennui, I was messing around with random camera lens/ combos when I discovered the art of DIY Tilt-Shifting. Yes, I know you can just fake it in photoshop, but that's not nearly as organic or satisfying. So, to generate the lensbaby-ish selective focus effects of the shot below, I removed the lens from the camera mount, and handheld it in front. The lens was tilted to the left by a good 15 degrees, hence the crazy vignetting on the right. It's certainly no replacement for a true tilt/shift lens, but for a poor man, this was a good experimental alternative.

Makeshift Tilt/Shift

If you're looking for more in the way of a tutorial, this is what you need to do: take your SLR (or I suppose any interchangeable lens camera/ body will do), and handhold a lens in front of it (ie: do not actually mount the lens). I used a D300 and a manual focus Voigtlander 58mm lens. Tilt the lens away from the body until you get the specific selective focus shot that you want. Snap picture. Note that you will be working completely manually for exposure, so it is best to use a lens with an aperture ring present.

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