Tilt-Shift Photography


Out of 100 people in a room, at least 70 percent of the people are interested in photography. Such is the aura and the charismatic charm of photography. The only barrier that stands between the person and his desire to become a photographer is the cost associated with it. Yes, photography does come at a cost. Given, the hike in prices of a high-tech camera and the lenses associated with it, it can provide a massive setback to their dreams and desires. Having said that, photography is not always associated with high-end cameras and lenses. Even a petty smart-phone with a decent camera can serve the purpose, if the desire is high enough. Photography is an extremely vast subject. To cut it short, let us discuss about one of the many types of photography: Tilt-Shift Photography.

What is Tilt-Shift Photography?

Tilt-shift photography refers to the use of adjusting and moving the lens of a camera in order to capture the picture of the entire subject through a fixed position. It may also refer to the use of tilt of selective focus, mainly to capture a miniature scene. It is an extremely complex procedure and requires high skill for any photographer. Generally, professional photographers use this kind of photography to capture open landscapes, mainly to cover large areas in a single frame, and without joining separate snaps to make one. This type of photography can be classified into types; the rotation of the lens with respect to the image plane, called tilt and the movement of the lens parallel to the same image plane, called shift. This is how the name ‘tilt-shift’ comes into play.

To talk about further nuances of tilt-shift photography, let us dive into the basics of it.

Tilt is usually used to control the Plane of Focus (PoF), which is used to control the sharpness of the concerned image, whereas Shift is used to position the objects in the image at a particular alignment, without changing the position of the photographer or the camera. This is particularly effective when filming tall skyscraper and removing the convergence of the parallel lines, since every building is not at the same height.

tilt shift photo

Photo Credit

What do you need?

Talking about cameras, any small and moderate camera will be a fit for the tilt-photography. The most important part, however, lies in choosing the perfect lenses. Canon is one of the most leading camera brands that offers high end tilt and shit lenses. The TS-E 17 mm and the TS-E 24 mm are your best bets for tilt and shift lenses. Their aperture is exquisite, offering f/4 and f/3.5L. Other decent camera brands, having tilt-shift lenses are Hartblei, Hasselblad, Minolta and Nikon. The TS-PC Hartblei, the HCD 28 mm of Hasselblad and the Nikkor 24 mm are some of the other decent lenses, providing with decent tilt-shift photographs.

Apart from the types of lenses, one needs excellent shape control. The aperture, though, taken care of by the lenses, one photographer still needs enough skills and control to master the tilt-shift photography, and if you pull this one off, expect high applause from the audience.