Bustling Bangkok never looked so tiny and cute. Tilt-shift video makes everything look like a miniature play set, and this video of various Thailand locales employs the technique perfectly. The Chao Phraya river that runs through Bangkok looks like a tiny stream in some sort of elaborate diorama, and people taking to the sea in the Phi Phi Islands near Phuket look like small articulated action figures. The effect is both interesting and surreal. Be sure to check out Gadling’s guide on the similar tilt-shift photography technique. “Toy Thailand” was shot in Bangkok, Phuket, Ton Sai, and Railay in Krabi.
Tilt-shift is a technology that’s been around for the last few years, but it’s just now being applied to the video world, and the results are pretty wild. The below video was shot overlooking Manchester Airport in England, and using the blurred effects of tilt-shift it looks like everyone working at the airport is a small doll moving around a series of toy planes.
If you’re interested in trying out the technology on your own time, Gadling has a few suggestions to save you some time.
This week’s video of the week, called Sandpit, is from Sam O’Hare who wanted to use a tilt-shift lens to turn a New York City scene into something that looks like a tiny model. But he discovered he could improve the look and feel by shooting the video with a normal lens and then blur the background and foreground after it was produced.
Tilt-shift videos of cites are nothing new, but Sam took it to a new level.
Sam explained the process of making Sandpit in an interesting interview by Aero Film if you need to know how it was created.
The effects are amazing. Coupled with the music from Human, you may find yourself hypnotized in no time.
Tilt-shift lenses have the ability to tilt the plane of focus and shift the camera’s line of sight, which can be used to produce the “miniature faking” effect seen above. Sometimes referred to as “smallgantics“, it’s a trend that’s becoming more widespread with the aid of digital processing – so if you see something that looks too small and detailed to be true, you now know what the explanation is.
There is something magical about tilt shift photos – I’m not much of a photo buff, so I’m easily amused by minor optical tricks.
Normally, making a tilt shift photo involves a special lens, or a ton of Photoshop knowledge (2 things I lack).
Enter TiltShiftMaker.com – this online tool does all the hard work for you, and is as simple as uploading a photo and moving a couple of sliders around.
It still takes a little practice to get the best results, but since the site is both free and easy to use, anyone with a little spare time could be producing some amazing tilt shift images in a matter of minutes.
After the jump, my first couple of attempts at Tilt shifting some of my photos. As you can see, I have not yet mastered the art of sliding little controls around, but I’m confident I’ll get there.
Oh, and yes – I am fully aware that I am about 2 years behind the curve when it comes to the latest and greatest in photography.
Tulips at Keukenhof in the Netherlands
Model boats in a Parisian park
This one is totally cheating, and completely missing the point – it is a tilt shift photo of a miniature cheese market model (You can see the “real” people in the background).