A personal blog of photography and commentary by Andrew McAllister.

Fall color, Blacksmith Fork Canyon in Northern Utah

I have a history with looking up in my photography that started a dozen or so years ago when my friend Jason Byers encouraged me to get closer and exaggerate the perspective of Cleveland skyscrapers. As a result my approach to large objects has always had two competing views. One that says step as far back as necessary to make absolutely sure the perspective is correct and the other that says get too close and look up. To get the perspective correct I use a tilt and shift lens when possible and correct perspective in photoshop for images taken with non PC lenses. For years I have been very comfortable with the way I see the world and what I want to photograph in it. Lately I have been experimenting with selective focus via tilting the lens as a way to creatively stretch they way I look at things. The images in this post a outside of my comfort zone photographically in two ways, one being that I don’t shoot fall color landscapes. They have not been of interest until I moved to Utah and I’m still not sure what I think beyond the color. The second thing that takes me out of my comfort zone is the play of focus. The lens tilt makes things look as if the are miniature and is best accomplished by looking down on the subject. However with the above shot I am clearly looking up. I enjoy the confusion that it causes. The western landscapes is huge and are always photographed to emphasize the size. However this stretch of mine is forcing these huge thing to appear way smaller than they are and thus subvert their western-ness.

Below is a more traditional angle of view using the tilt effect. Most photographers are aware that these effects can be accomplished in newer versions of Photoshop and many iOS apps however I personally would recommend using the lens itself. There is something about committing to the focus area you are interested in and locking that in the RAW file that gives the stretch impact. The lenses are available to rent from Borrow Lenses dot com and Lens Rentals dot com. 

Fall color, Logan Canyon in Northern Utah



Post a comment
  1. October 11, 2012

    This is amazing…. I love the colors. My girlfriend was sitting here and told me that one day we will take a vacation to somewhere that looks like this. I sincerely hope she’s right! Thank you for posting this!

    ~My Blog

    • Andrew McAllister #
      October 11, 2012

      1 1/2 hrs north of SLC. Hope you make to Utah sometime.

      • kyle78234 #
        October 11, 2012

        hmm, interestingly enough I have actually been to Utah, SLC no less! I was probably close to a place like this and never knew it! But we went in the dead of summer so thee were no fall colors :P

  2. October 12, 2012

    Great use of color, Andrew. The blue sky on the top picture and the green trees at bottom both compliment and emphasize the red very well.
    I find the use of PC lenses in this way gives the picture the look of a model train layout for some reason. This effect is invitingly disturbing for me. It makes me look much closer at the photograph.
    Hope to see more like this. Congratulations.

  3. October 15, 2012

    Judging by these results, you should step outside of your comfort zone more often. Wonderful images!!

  4. October 20, 2012

    Please stay out of your comfort zone for some time!
    I did not know anything of this technique. But with your unique photos here it’s worth checking out.
    And I can not get enough of looking at the amazing colors of this beautiful landscape. I’ll have to travel to Utah again sometime to experience it myself!

  5. October 21, 2012

    i really like the close one with the leafy detail

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