Take a look at this photograph of a roman aqueduct (click it to enlarge):
Looks like a model, doesn’t it? What about this pic of the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas?
Gotta be a model, right?
It’s often hard to convince people that Olivo Barbieri’s aerial photographs are real. They look uncannily like hyperdetailed models, absent the imperfections of reality. Streets are strangely clean, trees look plastic, and odd distortions of scale create the opposite effect of what we expect from aerial photography—a complete overview, like military surveillance. “I was a little bit tired of the idea of photography allowing you to see everything,” Barbieri says. “After 9/11 the world had become a little bit blurred because things that seemed impossible happened. My desire was to look at the city again.”
The rather surreal model-like effect is achieved using a tilt-shift lens which allows you to control the centerline to be someplace other than the center of the picture making for all sorts of interesting effects such as the ones in the pictures here. This is pretty cool in its own right, but it’s also useful as an example of how we can think we’re seeing something other than what’s actually right in front of us. The Metropolis Magazine article these two images came from is short, but offers several more stunning examples of this nifty trick in action. Check it out.
Link found via Boing Boing.