October 23, 2015

A Tilt-Shift One-on-One (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 3 frame exposure blend
This past Spring was the first time I've taught a class on Architectural Photography, but much to my surprise, it turned out to be very popular. Recently, one of the students from that course acquired a tilt-shift lens, so this was a field trip to help demystify the lens.
Digital original, 3 frame exposure blend
The above image was made using a rise on the lens, moving it vertically upwards to permit the camera to stay level, and avoid convergence (when a building gets narrower at the top in a photograph).
Digital original, 3 frame exposure blend
The second image of the old Halifax Memorial Library (above) was made from the same camera position as the first (note the position of the poster pillar on the right, and the branch coming out of the building on the left), but this time, the camera was turned so it was parallel to the building (pointing towards the right corner, basically), and then the lens was shifted to the left, and up, to compose the image. Such is the magic of a tilt-shift lens.
Digital original, 6 frame exposure blend
Towards the end of the session, we shifted to photographing the new Halifax Library; as opposed to correcting the convergence inherent when a camera is pointed up at a building, I decided to over correct it, and point the camera downwards, and purposely introduce keystone distortion (when a building is larger at the top than the bottom) - the result was really pleasing, if a little wacky.

The other technique being used in the image is exposure blending - in this case, I was experimenting with the new HDR Photo Merge feature in Lightroom CC - it was less than pleasing in this case, as it lead to odd pink highlights in the sky (where clouds moved during the making of the 6 source exposures). Fortunately, I can do a similar thing by hand in Photoshop, avoiding the issue (I posted the result with the issue here more as an academic example than anything else).


  1. Great hdr shots! What can you say about the Lightroom for beginner photographers? I read some info about Photoshop plugins https://aurorahdr.com/blog/what-is-hdr-photography, but I want some alternative for my mac?

    1. Lightroom is a great tool for keen photographers (if you're thinking about HDR then it would be a good option). Unlike Photoshop, it has a much more reasonable learning curve, and can do so many things that Photoshop cannot do (image management etc).


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