I was delighted to happen upon Keith Loutit’s videos last week. Keith is an Australian photographer and maker of short films, specializing in tilt-shift. Before this fortuitous stumble, I had never heard of tilt-shift. At first I thought his videos were created through hours of model manipulation using stop motion. Instead, tilt-shift uses focus distortion techniques to create a shallow depth of field, giving the illusion of miniatures.
I’m crazy about all of Keith’s video’s, but ultimately chose Bathtub IV to post because there are two parts that I’m simply infatuated with. Around time-marker 00:41, a fisherman falls into the water. The video soon cuts away, but returns again at 00:57 to show the miniature figure being thrust around by choppy waves and dragged out to sea. It’s captivating and a little terrifying once you realize that this was a real person (participating in a rescue training exercise). A few moments later, at time-marker 01:22, there is a stunning shot of a rescue helicopter floating backwards into the air and then stalling like a fat bumblebee surrounded by an atmospheric halo. Then suddenly, it zips over the water in a stealthy zig-zag.Vodpod videos no longer available.
My next two favorite videos of his are The North Wind Blew South and Bathtub III. The North Wind is a beautiful and swaying video (coupled with a perfectly matched audio track), in which ocean tides and cloudy skies move in ever-changing directions. The Bathtub III pulses and vibrates, treating the ships in Sydney Harbor like oil on a hot skillet. Small figures lounge on a swimming platform, periodically jumping into the water and propelling themselves in frantic loops around the harbor. All of this to a track that samples the Knight Rider theme song. It’s kinda brilliant. I highly recommend watching them both.
If after this you’re still hungry for tilt-shift, you can purchase one of Keith’s still shots.