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"The Sandpit" - Spectacular!

  • 10-05-2010 3:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5,143 ✭✭✭

    This is really spectacular.
    It is a series of stop-motion, tilt/shift photographs that chronicle a day in the life of New York City.
    Stop-motion photography is self explanatory, but tilt/shift was something I had to look up.
    Basically, a lens and film (or sensor, in a digital) are usually in two parallel planes, and so therefore the area in focus (depth of field) is also a plane parallel. By tilting the lens at an angle to the sensor, the depth of field plane also shifts, so that the three planes intersect at some point (or line, actually) outside the camera. Using this phnomenon, a photographer can take a photograph of a streetscape from above so that the entire streescape is in focus.
    The 'shift' part comes in because the lens is not only tilted but also shifted so that the centre of the lens is not directly in front of the centre of the sensor. This has the effect of restoring parallel lines to being parallel, rather than converging as they would in regular photography. Imagine standing in front of a tall building with parallel sides (such as the one of WTC towers before 9/11) and taking a photograph looking up at the building. With a regular setup, the sides of the building would appear on the photo to converge towards one another at some point in the distance. However, with a 'shift' setup, the sides of the building come out parallel in the photo.
    An interesting side effect of 'tilt/shift' photography is that the image looks like a photo of a miniature model, rather than looking like a photo of an actual scene. Thus, this video looks like it is actually a stop motion animation painstakingly created by moving models of boats, helicopters, JCBs, taxis, cars and people in between each shot.
    Have a look at it; I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
    Oh, yeah, the soundtrack's pretty cool too.