This music video uses a technique called tilt shift photography. Tilt shift lenses are – as the name indicates – able to be tilted and shifted relative to the camera sensor. These special lenses are mostly used in architectural photography where images taken with a normal lens tend to suffer from heavy perspective distortion. Lines that should appear parallel from each other start to converge to a single point instead. But by using tilt shift lenses, photographers can ‘bend’ light in a controlled manner, neutralizing the effects of the perspective distortion, and thus making lines look straight again.
But by overdoing this technique, one can achieve the effect of turning real world scenes into toy like looking models. The shallow depth of field and over saturated colors enforce this idea. It’s the complete opposite of what Hollywood films tend to do: film small models and then make them appear larger than life. Either way, it gives us a completely different look on our world.
Keith Loutit, photographer in question has also made other such video’s such as North Wind Blew South.
Tilt shift photography originated from the accordion like view cameras. Because the photographic plate was only connected to the lens plate by a accordion folded bellow, both plates could be moved independently from each other, letting the photographer distort his image anyway he wanted. These cameras however are mostly only still used by die hard photographers for landscape and studio photography as they quite large, heavy and unwieldy to use.
And for those interested, Canon has just released a new 24mm tilt shift lens for their EOS DSLR line up. It’s a lot more versatile then their previous version and a lot easier to carry around than a view camera.