Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Shift Lens

Link to Gallery

John has turned up a collection of amazing pictures that look like the kind of models I remember from the Hornby catalogues I used to avidly peruse when I was a child (it was cheaper to read the catalogues and dream than to actually buy many of the trains!).

However, as you browse through that gallery, you start to wonder how they have found the time to build so many detailed models? The answer is that these are all taken using a home-made shift lens, which is designed for perspective correction when photographing tall buildings.

When you turn it from architecture to other subjects, the lack of perspective creates exactly the same effect as looking at a diorama that is designed to be viewed from any direction (eg. a model railway). You can’t add artificial perspective hints into the model because they would only work from one point of view and so everything seems flatter than real life. Therefore, taking photos with a shift lens looks deliberately unrealistic and provides a fascinating alternative view of the world!

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