I have written a couple of posts about using my tilt-shift lens set up recently. I wrote about using the technique to give motion and focus to a country road, and used it to take some portraits of an old friend. I thought I would do a post how tilt-shift is typically used. The tilt-shift lens can be angled so that it is not parallel to your camera’s sensor – this gives you a slice of focus and changes the perspective of your shot slightly. It is mostly used to give a feel of miniaturized cityscapes. I don’t live in a city so I went to a scenic overlook in town. It’s a tree covered area that is about midway between the bottom of the hollow that is Main Street and the top of the ridge where the Crescent Hotel sits. Shooting through trees makes it tougher than the shots you typically see – classic tilt-shift is shot from high above and focuses on the tiny details below. It’s all manual – you tilt then focus by hand. You can set the shutter speed and ISO in camera, but the rest is all done by the photographer.
Here’s a little tour of the city I call home at just past the peak colors of autumn – Eureka Springs, Arkansas, one of America’s favorite SMALL towns. All of these shots were taken from the East Mountain Overlook, facing west.
At the top of the ridge the Crescent Hotel holds the high ground with a view that over looks the city and surrounding hills
Many cities across the country have a Carnegie Library – Eureka Springs has one and it’s a gorgeous jewel box hidden in the trees.
Down the hillside this yellow house sits on a steep road surrounded by trees
Looking through the trees you can see the Pink House. This shot really gives a sense of miniaturization created by the tilt shift lens.
From this vantage point a church steeple rises above the treetops.
Focusing on the picket fence from the overlook lets everything beyond melt together in a blur of colors. The Crescent sits there atop the trees.
So what do you think of tilt-shift photography – is it interesting or does it make you dizzy?
These longer days give me lots of time to shoot in the evenings. Friday I was out on a country road and looked to the west to see the sky looking like it was on fire. I focused on the field grass just in front of the fence to capture this image.
It was about 8:00 so I knew I had a short window to drive to a spot with a good vantage point – a downside of living in the Ozarks is that the hills and hollows can block sunrises and sets from view. I went to an overlook built by the local Rotary – I looks out across all of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I got there as the sky really started to explode with color.
Long Zoom – The 1886 Crescent Hotel at sunset.
Kit Zoom – with ambient light from the street lamp.
My portrait prime – last useable shot of the night.
As I headed out the color lingered, too dark to capture – but lighting my way home. I live in paradise.