Thanks to some of my pals from the summer for passing this along. Evidently, folks use tilt-shift techniques for all kinds of applications, including video. Keep in mind, the video below is of real objects.

You can see more from the author Keith Loutit by checking out his site on Vimeo.


Tilt-Shift Camp

There is a whole world of photography out there.  Things rarely seen, I tell you.  I've read of a type of photography called "tilt-shift" photography, in which the plane of the lens is tilted relative to the plane of the object.  I don't really understand all this means, but it apparently allows, among other things, a photographer to photograph tall buildings while avoiding "lines of convergence," the effect that makes a building seem as if it were falling away from the photographer.  As I read it, in fact, tilt-shift photography is very common amongst those who specialize in architectural photography.

Another effect that can be produced by tilt-shift photography is a very shallow depth of field.  That is, only a small sliver of the photo, as you look from near to far, falls in focus.  The rest can be made very blurry.  It is this effect I stumbled across the other day.  Apparently there is a post-production technique to make your photos look as if they were miniature models, a technique that takes advantage of this shallow depth of field.

I've seen magazine photos with this effect applied, so I thought I'd try it myself.  I used one of the aerial shots of camp I took a few weeks ago:


I guess it kind of looks like a miniature model.  I applied a blur effect, then washed the blur effect out of the middle (using a gradient tool).  I then upped the contrast and saturation to deepen the colors.  That's about it.  A waste of time, perhaps, but now I know how to do something I didn't know before!

From Above

A few weeks ago I rode along in a helicopter to take photographs.  We took photos both at the lake and at the camp.  It was simply one of the coolest things I've ever done.  If you ever get the chance to ride around in a helicopter, telling the pilot where to go and how low to fly, do it!  Here are some pics (just for you, P-Fid, because I know you like pictures):







1984 and Then Some

Yes, it's been a while.  If you are familiar with my chosen profession, you'll understand that I've been quite busy lately.  However, it's all good.  Very, very busy, but good.  Nonetheless, I've fallen behind in putting things up on the  Here are some nuggets of information to serve as an update:

Just finished the book "1984."  Amazing.  Disturbing.  Haunting. Depressing.  This is writing and storytelling at a very high level (obviously...I mean, the book is famous).  I had forgotten, or perhaps never realized, how powerful and...oppressive...this book is.  Truly a tour de force, one I found hard to put down, and was sad to finish.  This kind of book is why I love to read.

My older brother just had his 48th birthday.  Almost 50, he is.  I don't see my older brother much as he lives in Croatia with his family (wife and two sons).  Like most siblings, we've certainly had our differences over the years, but I really love and respect my older brother.  I wish we were able to see each other more often.

I find prayer to be somewhat confusing.  I won't go into the several intellectual and emotional issues I have regarding prayer, but they do exist.  That being said, though, I'll tell you this - when things get serious, especially for people I'm close to, I find it easy to pray.  There is a couple whom I adore with my whole heart, whom I consider some of my best friends, among the very best people on earth, and they are having a very difficult time right now.  Not only does my heart go out to them, but I find myself praying for them constantly, almost sub-consciously.  I am very reluctant to pray for myself (part of the confusion), but when it involves people I love, prayer comes naturally, despite my questions.  "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!"

Every time I have an opportunity to  speak about my experiences in Africa, I feel as if my heart might burst.  My eyes always water, my throat tightens up and I start to sweat.  What does this mean?  And when will I get back to those kids?

That's it for now.  I'll try to do a better job now that things are settling into a sort of routine.

Like, Enough Already

For the past few months I've really been fixated on the overuse of the word "like" in casual conversation.  Like, when people use the word "like" when speaking of some episode or example or statement they made.  It's, like, beginning to drill into my brain like a laser, and I can't, like, turn it off.

OK, you get the idea.

I read this article today on MSNBC about iPhone apps.  They interviewed several people, one of whom offered this nugget:
“She’s got an app that estimates the size of something based on a credit card,” he says. (It’s called “No Ruler.”) “She’s like, ‘This is so cool, it’s like eight credit cards long.’ I’m like, why don’t you just get a tape measure and measure it? It’s this fascination with the technology without thinking, ‘Is this really helping me?’ ”

Seriously?  He was like "why don't you just get a tape measure," or did he actually say it?  Maddening!

I'll admit, it's a hard habit to break.  I catch myself doing it throughout the day, despite my best efforts.  I can also be somewhat annoying when I point it out to others who commit the foul, so I'm trying to go easy.  Make no mistake, though, I intend to stamp the wayward "like" right out of my vocabulary.

Who's, like, with me?
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