Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Travel and Photography Blog...Tilt-Shifted

About a year ago I started messing around with a DIY approach to photography.  My first successful attempt at this newfound world of camera/lens/lighting hacks was that of creating a tilt-shift lens for my DSLR.  This type of lens allows for more control over what is and isn't in focus by manipulating the plane of focus.  Used heavily in architectural photography, more and more we are now seeing tilt shift photography make its way into other fields.  This is probably because they can be made and used by anyone willing to spend a few dollars (seriously, a $20) willing to get a little dirty (probably just get a little bit of glue on their fingers) and willing to do some heavy lifting (the necessary lenses tend to be a tad heavier than, say, a nifty-fifty (but hey, for $10-15 no one's complaining)).

Right.  So I was willing to do all that.  And I did.  I won't give you my exact instructions now, though, for two reasons.  One, you can find better instructions here (I based mine VERY loosely off of the plungercam classic) and two, I am starting to search for the necessary parts for my next tilt-shift lens and figure I will be able to give better instructions and advice concerning its construction (what with it being my second attempt).

Soon after creating my tilt-shift lens, I got the crazy idea that I should get in on one of those 365 photo projects (you take a picture everyday for a full year).  I did that (really, I did) and was able to use my homemade lens to help me on those days that I didn't have any good ideas for a photo.  Since then, though, I've really started to understand what the lens is capable of...a ton more than just a way to fill in my creatively lacking days.  And more importantly, I've learned that I have just enough extra space in my camera bag for it.

When my wife and I found out that we would be moving to Northern Ireland, specifically Belfast, much time went into planning out what would occupy every square inch of every potential duffel bag, suit case, and backpack.  When we got to the final stages of packing, I was awfully close to filling those few remaining square inches in my backpack with some extra socks, but was lucky enough to bump into that less than well constructed and rarely used lens just to see that it fit perfectly in that tiny cavity.  In it went.

Half of my 365 day photo project happened in Pennsylvania (and surrounding states).  Half took place in Northern Ireland (and surrounding countries).  I finished it just a little over a month ago and since then have been trying to figure out what exactly I should do with that site.  I considered killing it. I considered using it for random photo series/projects that I come up with.  While backpacking across western Europe (luckily with my trusty tilt-shift lens in hand) I came up with my next project.  The plan was to shoot some tilted and shifted shots in every country I travel to (and when back in the states potentially every state I travel to).  I would then be able to do a travel and photography blog that sets me apart from the thousands...dare I say millions...that already exist.  Though I now know that by concept at least it wont set me apart from the (couple) hundred or so other tilt shift travel blogs.  Being set apart from them will have to be done by the places I travel to and the way I use my lens.

When I came up with the idea, I figured I'd just use my already established blog.  That seemed to be a reasonable idea.  But then I realized I had the perfect excuse to start a fresh blog, to have a blog entirely devoted to my travels and my photography...specifically, my tilt-shift photography.

And so, I present my new blog...TILT-SHIFT THE WORLD

Look forward to posts dedicated to specific countries, states, cities and territories.

(I'll have my first real post up within a week...but shall leave you with a taste of what's to come)...

...any idea where this beautiful building can be found?  ...anyone?

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