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Daisies At a Pond In Rowe. June 11, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , ,

Driving through Rowe after work yesterday (yeah, it’s kinda the long way home) I was slapped silly by a planar clump of daisies along the edge of a pond in Rowe.  It’s the kind of scene which plays well through the eyes of a tilt-shift lens, a rarity in non-planar New England (the Coast excluded.)

On this occasion, under skies carpeted with heavy-bellied clouds, I slammed on the brakes and puled into a ditch to try and beat the rain.   I threw The Unit together, camera and tripod and Elliot, ran across the road, bellied under the guard rail and set up hastily, tilting and shifting like a mad fool.

I didn’t make it.  I got half-way through the set-up, excited about the common plain of the daisies and the snags in the beaver pond, before the skies opened up.  I hunched over the camera, trying to protect the lens’ articulation from the onslaught, and took several bracketed shots at various f-stops, as the tilt function messes up the light meter in the worst way.

So here’s a gift from Elliot, my 24mm Canon TS-E II lens, an image of a pond in Rowe, Massachusetts, flanked by daisies and hawk weed:

This was a gawd-awfully rushed shot, and could have been rendered better; I may try again this weekend.


1. jomegat - June 11, 2010

Nice. Your rushed shots turn out better than a lot of mine.

2. Bobbie - June 11, 2010

Thank you, Elliot!! Very, very nice.

3. Bob - June 11, 2010

You and ole TS are a wonderful match, Cuz.

As always, thanks.

4. clairz - June 12, 2010

Ah, the Scheimpflug principle!

I don’t get it. I looked around your blog for more info on tilt-shift photography and I still don’t get it. Is there any way you can explain it in tiny words, or even refer me to some place that does?

I like the photo. The foreground is in focus; so is the background. Is that part of TS photography? Nothing in my photos seems to ever be in focus, a function of my not-so-great eyesight, so if focus is a part of this, I am feeling a little bit excited. Verklempt, even. I learn so many interesting things on your blog.

5. hisnomore - June 12, 2010

It’s beautiful! The whole thing.

6. littlebangtheory - June 12, 2010

Thank you all – your words encourage me, and if you keep it up, I might even get the hang of this!

Clairz, Tilt/Shift photography refers to a set of techniques which is integral to the mechanics of view cameras, that is, medium and large format cameras where the camera back (which includes the “film plane”) and the lens are separate entities which move relative to each other on rails and are connected by an expandable light-excluding bellows. “Shift” refers to the angle of the film plane relative to the rails (yeah, it’s adjustable,) and “Tilt” refers to the angle of the lens in the same way. “Shift” controls perspective, so that parallel lines can be rendered as parallel despite nature’s tendency to throw “vanishing points” into the works, as when you try to photograph a tall building and it comes out looking like it’s skinnier at the top.

It’s the objective lens tilt (or “swing,” if it’s left to right rather than up and down) which which generates the effect of apparently infinite depth of field (i.e., sharp focus from the foreground to near infinity,) but if you look closely, you’ll see that not everything is in focus. In this case the daisies are, and so are the spruce snags across the pond. But in the full-size version of this photo, neither the tree-horizon nor their wartery bases are sharp; neither are the red hawkweed blossoms, though they’re at the same distance as the daisies. The fact is, they’re not in the plane of sharp focus, as are the daisies and the snags.

Actually, it’s a wedge of sharp focus, thickening with distance from the camera. In T/S photography, the f-stop controls the thickness of this wedge rather than the actual depth of field.

Boy, ask a simple question and this is what you get! You’re doubtless most of the way to understanding this stuff if you’re aware of the Scheimpflug principle; Google that along with the Hinge Rule and you should get some pretty elucidating animations.

And then there’s the unGodly price of the DSLR tilt/shift lenses…

7. pagan sphinx - June 13, 2010

I don’t get it, still. And I would never get it since I both have no talent for the technical aspects of photography, nor the budget.

Oh and now I get why you call the lens Eliot. Cute.

The photo is beautiful. I tend not to notice anything other than that. 🙂

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