Serene Life

by garik

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We all know the popular Tilt Shift technique that gives objects a "miniature" look, making them appear much smaller than they actually are.

I'm wondering whether it's possible to achieve the opposite effect and if so, how? For example, making a photograph of a lawn appear as if it's a huge patch of grassland shot from a plane. Or making a rock look like it's a mountain.

Are there differences in focus and depth at play here that can be manipulated, or is it all down to other factors like familiar objects, dust, mist etc. that gives the human eye an idea of the scene's "vastness"?

In my specific case, I would like to make a photographic journey through a small creek appear like it was taken from a (miniature) plane. I have a Sony DSC-HX1.

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4 Answers 4

Increasing the depth of field alone wont work (though eliminating an unnaturally looking shallow depth of field will).

What you want to do is shoot from a position as close to the ground as possible, with the widest setting on your lens (you might want to investigate a wide-angle adaptor if available).

This was shot low down using a wide lens to make this ordinary person look like a giant!

See this related question:

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Use a wide angle lens wide open, and shoot from very close. The distortion will mimic that effect.

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It's not the distortion that does that, it's the perspective. Though there will, often, also be distortion. –  James Youngman Apr 19 '12 at 18:54

One of the big clues for scale is the depth of field. Shrinking the depth of field fools the brain into thinking it's looking at models rather than real life objects where the depth of field would be larger.

So to reverse the effect you could try increasing the depth of field.

You'll also have to make sure that there are no objects in the scene - even in the background - that would give away the true scale of the objects.

Another thing to try and do is photograph the object from the viewpoint you would if it were full size. With tilt-shift photography the view is artificially shifted to make it appear that you are looking down on the objects.

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What you are asking for is called "forced perspective". If for example we want to make a lawn look like a grassland, we would have actual cows or wild animals on the lawn to give it a larger perspective. Although what I explained is not actually forced perspective but you can Google it to know the sort of effects it creates.

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