Friday, January 17, 2014

Tilt Shift Hype

The current flavour of the month in one of my photography groups seems to be tilt/shift lenses. One advantage of collaborative learning from great groups is the increasing depth of the members' knowledge base. However, I think it can also have disadvatages in that images take on a generic appearance with everyone using the same workflow. I have no intention of selling any of my images or becoming a professional photographer so this is not of great concern to me but I think it makes it more challenging for photographers to establish a unique style and therefore become commercially productive.

Until recently I'd associated tilt/shift with an effect which replicates miniature scenes, however the specific tilt shift lenses obviously were not going to be as simple as this, so I decided to investigate what had generated such fervent interest.

I'm not a particularly technical person with respect to electronic equipment. The numbers game doesn't motivate me in any way and sometimes I believe fancy gadgets make processes a lot more complicated than they need to be. Unashamedly, I'm happy to admit that I take the lazy way out. If I see photography work which inspires me, I make an effort to investigate the workflow or process behind it. If it involves equipment I ask advice from buddies who are technically proficient and follow their lead. Frequently I simply put it in the too hard basket.

The Cambridge in Colour website usually does a reasonable job of explaining processes and developments so by default I consulted it in an attempt to fill my knowledge void. I wish I could say I am now enlightened but that's not the case. I cant for the life of me see how they produce anything more than a change of POV. I'm not sure whether it is the way the process was explained or a 'me' specific issue but I can see that I need to read a lot more before I'm able to appreciate the advantages of these lenses. Digital Camera World  provided some great examples using specific images however I still cant grasp how it is more complex than simply changing POV.  Is has to be more complicated than that surely ?

Five things you should know about tilt shift lenses is more persuasive although motivation is currently not being generated as I'm yet to be convinced the effort is worth it, other than the ability to correct converging verticals when taking architectural shots. Image distortion doesnt appal me as it seems to do others, so once again I'm in the minority. Maintaining simultaneous sharpness with both very close and distant objects does represent an attractive selling point. Ho Hum.

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