This Could Become an Expensive, Addictive Hobby

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life in miniature... Tiny people, tiny trees, a familiar setting recreated in a whole new way...
Motion stopped.

{The Trocadero: Paris, France}

Just imagine the money that goes into making miniature models... Train sets, cityscapes... Details. Paint. Tiny little details put in just the right spot.

{Side Canal: Venice, Italy}

It boggles the mind, really.... Magic, manipulative miniaturizing.

{The Eiffel Tower: Paris, France}
{Heidelburg, Germany}{Heidelburg, Germany}

Maybe there's an easier way. (though no less expensive...)


A tricky photographic technique involving this lens:

At only $1200 for the lens, it's a walk in the park, right??!

But for the effect of making gorgeous landscapes and cityscapes take on a whole new surreal, miniature look, why not?

(Here's a good link to some INCREDIBLE examples using this lens:
50 Beautiful Examples of Tilt Shift Photography)

Okay, okay... I'll tell you why not. Do I have $1200 lying around to be spent on a HOBBY lens?!!
Heck no! Phew!!

So.... even better--- how about FAKING it in Photoshop?

Here's my dirty little secret, revealed:

I've been hearing about the tilt-shift lens recently, so I finally took the time to google it. Realized I'd NOT be getting myself one of these incredible lenses any time soon, but started noticing the phenomenon of faking the "look" in Photoshop. And if there's a tutorial out there, I am girl not afraid to muddle through it until I figure it out.

And once I got this one right, I was like a kid in a candy store. SUCH fun!!

I'm thinking of photographing THINGS in a whole new way! I'm ready to go stand on rooftops... The Arch. Balconies. Anywhere I can get some height to try a few new shots to manipulate.

So will this be my expensive, addictive new hobby? Well, for now, EXPENSIVE, no. Addictive?? VERY possible. :)

But if anyone is hankering to get me that lens, my birthday is in 2 weeks.

I'm just sayin'.

(P.S. To clarify-- All photos in this post are of REAL places, from Joe's and my trip to Europe three years ago. I just did the tilt-shift tutorial on each of them to make them LOOK like miniatures. Yay!)
(There are a ton of tutorials out there, but this one was the breakthrough for me: Go play, then tell me about it in the comments. I wanna see YOUR miniatures!)


  1. Sounds like you need to purchase some good quality safety gear if you will be venturing out for this new hobby! :) Great photos :)

  2. oh, are you trying to tug on my heart strings with those pics of heidelberg????

    those pictures look really cool.

  3. I have the perfect REAL minature waiting in a box to be opened on your birthday! :)

  4. Um, yeah. . . aren't you afraid of heights? Maybe I'm imagining. . .

    I think you need to try this from Squaw Peak when you're here.

  5. Anonymous3:55 PM

    whoa...that is COOL. and the fact that i've been to some of the places posted was even better! well done, photographer!

    -sarah of the avyquinn

  6. OMG, I just about had a heart attack and was going to insist you take me to where ever this marvelous place is that has these amazing miniatures. I'm a little disappointed they aren't real, but I'm so excited to try this out myself, I'll forgive you for fooling me like that. Someday.

  7. Em - That is too cool!! definatly saving the tutorial link!

  8. There are some wedding photographers who are doing amazing things with a tilt shift during portraits.

  9. Haha, I was going to say that that looks so much like Heidelberg that I don't believe it's not!!! I too adore the t/s but it's soo not in my future! Have you seen Red Leaf's wedding shots? There's usually a t/s or two in there.

  10. Hmmm... I wonder if those guys at WETA Workshop knew about tilt-shift photography? If they did, it might have saved them a LOT of time and money on all those LOTR "Big-atures"... Oh, wait...those places weren't real... ;)

    That really is some fun and impressive photo-shopping!

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  12. Ha, I have almost the exact same picture of Heidelburg, Germany from when I went to, ironically enough, 3 years ago.

  13. edit* when I went to Europe...


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