Trend: Keith Loutit’s Tilt-Shift Short Films

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Mardi Gras from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

So f’n cool. The above videos are by an Australian named Keith Loutit, and they’re some of the most visually compelling short films that I’ve ever seen.

Bathtub II from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Each of the videos in his Vimeo stream utilize a photographic technique known as “Tilt-Shift”. I’m quite shocked this hasn’t been blatantly copied in some advertising campaign, if not for the cool look it lends the images, then for the ability to make everything seem like miniatures. I’ve seen this before in photos, but in videos? Not so much.

Tilt-Shift Diagram
From here.

The Tilt-Shift technique essentially moves the camera body (where the image is captured) relative to the lens elements.

  • Tilting (angling) the camera body creates a highly selective focus, because only a small portion of the lens is the “correct” distance from the flim/sensor.
  • Shifting (sliding) the camera body relative to the lens position allows correction for distortion created by a subject’s distance from the camera. For example, if you’re shooting an image of a tall building, the “shift” of the lens could reduce or eliminate the way said building’s top would appear to recede from view.

So with the correct application of tilting and shifting of the optical elements of the lens and the camera body, Loutit is able to make everything in these videos appear to be in miniature.

That’s it. It’s cool, I’m envious, and I want to learn more. Hat tip to Kevin Panke for finding these videos..


4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Robert Birse,

    The talented Mr Loutit did a video for Greenpeace
    in Australia which has been doing the rounds.

    It is truly amazing that this still appears to be the only ‘commercial’ application of a simple yet fantastically effective technique. Surely it can’t be long.

  2. keith kleespies,

    Can anyone explain the physics of why the subjects appear as toys?



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