Olivo Barbieri’s aerial photographs Matt 30 Jun 2006

11 comments Latest by Nick

In Olivo Barbieri’s aerial photographs, people look like ants and cities like toy models. He shoots from a helicopter using a tilt-shift lens. He says that “allows me to choose what I really like in focus: like in a written page, we don’t read [it as an] image but one line at a time.” There’s a profile of him w/ some photos at Metropolis mag’s site and more photos at the Yancey Richardson gallery site.

Olivo Barbieri shot

Olivo Barbieri shot

Olivo Barbieri shot

Olivo Barbieri shot

Olivo Barbieri shot

If you dig the effect but want a cheaper solution (tilt shift lenses are a bit pricey), here’s a hack for building your own tilt-shift lens. Or try Lensbabies, selective focus SLR camera lenses, which bring one area of a photo into sharp focus surrounded by graduated blur. Too bad there’s no hack for building your own helicopter.

11 comments so far (Jump to latest)

jamie 30 Jun 06

I love looking at these photos. Thanks for the links to the more affordable hacks. A tilt-shift lens is not really in my budget right now.

And for the more adventurous, you could try this helicopter hack: http://www.vortechonline.com/aw95/. Not bad for $6000-$8000.

Kendall 30 Jun 06

You’re spot on on saying it looks like toy models. Amazing visual effects. Thanks for sharing.

Aaron 30 Jun 06

There’s a flickr group for “faked” tilt shift images that people might also enjoy


Michael 30 Jun 06

Those pictures are really cool.

Matthias 08 Jul 06

The finnish artist Miklos Gaal uses the same technique to come up with great art: http://www.herrmannwagner.com/deutsch/01kuenstler/gaal/Miklos-Gaal.html (sorry, site in German)