Thursday, December 16, 2010

Miniature Dresdner Striezelmarkt

Miniature Dresdner Striezelmarkt from Alex Bird on Vimeo.

After the first experiment I made a point to try to capture the Streizelmarkt with this effect, since it's not around for long, and especially with the snow. Fortunately, the old Kreuzkirche stands overlooking the almarkt, and for 2.50 euro you can climb to the top of the tower. So I took my camera and tripod up there, and was surprised to find my self all alone up at the top. And then I realized that is was cold and extremely windy up there! You can tell in the video, as the wind was pushing around the camera on the tripod. And I couldn't protect my hands or face much because the way I had the camera perched on the ledge I was afraid a large gust might push it over, so I had to be ready to grab it without actually touching it. I had to duck inside the tower between shots just to keep warm enough to continue.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tilt-Shift Time Lapse

You may have seen some of these videos recently, where somebody takes a time lapse movie of a scene from a high vantage point, then processes the individual photos for a "tilt-shift" effect (essentially just applying a blur to the image such that it appears as if there is a very shallow depth of field, which gives the impression that one is looking at a a very small scene filmed with a macro lens or something). Usually the saturation is also cranked up in these movies so that everything looks painted or plastic, adding to a miniature/toy effect. Here's a couple photos I snapped of the model train set at Bahnhof Neustadt. This is basically the effect you want.

I decided to give it a go making the real life movies now that I have a digitial SLR as well as Photoshop at my disposal. Here's my first attempt, filmed from outside my bedroom window looking down Rothenburgerstrasse in Dresden:

Not bad for a first attempt, I think. I took images at one second intervals, the playback is at 6 frames/second. Going up to 10 frames per second is less jerky, but then everything is just too fast. Next time I'll probably take 1/2 second intervals. Also, I live on the second floor (first floor for Germans). So this isn't really high enough to get a good effect. But it's enough to give me confidence to go seek out interesting places around town, where I can get higher up, and look out a bit further (e.g. from Nudel Turm looking over Albertplatz). I hope to have some much cooler movies of familiar places soon.