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Tonality Communications | Pawel Rybczynski

Tilt-shift lenses: An architectural photographers best friend

8. June 2017 by Pawel Rybczynski

Here at tonality we always have a commitment to quality, and that means when we create photographs, they are to be of the highest possible standards. It is for this reason i believe the tilt-shift lens is such an important part of any professional photographers kit.

Recently, I’ve been taking many architectural shots, shots that demand a certain level of straight lines. This is due to fact that when you shoot a building’s exterior/interior, you want to show its lines just as the architect intended it to be seen. However, due to the nature of traditional lenses, these lines can become distorted because of something know as perspective.

To use a simple example, if you take an image of a tall building using a wider lens, you will notice it looks like the building shrinks or gets thinner the higher it gets.

Enter the tilt-shift lens, a lens that essentially allows the camera to capture the image from different ‚perspectives‘. Doing so, especially in my recent cases, means that the lines of a building appear much straighter and natural looking when stitched together.

Rather than taking one image which captures the entire house, what you will do with the tilt-shift is capture the bottom, middle and top thirds of the house separately and stitch the images in processing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

Architecture isn’t the only use for tilt-shifts however, they have many uses including distortion free panoramas for landscape photography as well as the ability to make one object in focus while a second out of focus even if they are lined up parallel next to each other by tilting.

I wanted to keep this blog post nice and short and just highlight how much of a go-to lens the tilt-shift has been during my last few shoots so i wont go on about all the technicalities and benefits of this lens. For those who want to delve a little deeper, let Sarah from lensrentals.com explain the nitty gritty (and by the way: enjoy her nails). 😉

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