Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I've Been Pasting: Sherlock

Every time I come to write up one of these posts, I'm very wary of gushing or over-enthusing. I'm prone to exaggeration in general, and it's rarely an attractive trait. In this particular case, though, there really is little point holding back – everyone else has beaten me to the gushing and enthusing by. . . well, I would say a mile, but that would be exaggerating.

Sherlock, it seems, has won the hearts of an entire nation. If you missed the most recent TV adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories then I’d guess you won’t have to wait long to catch it again. It's unlikely the BBC will shy away from both repeating it here in the UK and licensing it to broadcasters around the world.

Like it seems just about everyone else – from the broadsheets to the redtops, by way of TV critics and even my hard-to-impress mum – I loved all three (just three!) feature-length episodes. Perfectly paced, beautifully plotted and with a script so sparky and satisfying I swear I drove my partner to distraction going on about it, it was the kind of show that makes me glad I own a TV.

So all that said (ok, gushed over), what on earth has it got to do with Copy+Paste? Have I, in the name of blog inspiration, been going out and solving tricksy murders? Thankfully not. The thing that inspired me to investigate, experiment and hopefully pass on a really fun idea to you, was a little bit of camera trickery used most notably in the opening titles.

In case you’ve not seen it before, the trick that makes those wide shots of London look like a model or miniature is known as tilt-shift. It’s something I’ve seen used in still photography from time to time (there are a couple of Flickr groups dedicated to the effect), but had never got round to trying until now.

The good news – for me and for you, if you like the look of it – is you don’t need any real expertise or special software have a go at creating your own fake-miniature images. Upload a suitable photo to the super-clever Tilt-shift Maker, follow their easy instructions and then save back to your desktop. Easy-cheesy!

So far, I’ve only tried it on my existing photo collection, but now I know how it works, I’m definitely planning to go out and take some new shots with tilt-shifting in mind. The kind of images that work best are fairly wide landscapes, especially those taken at height and with a good amount of detail included. If you’re unsure about which of your photos are suitable (or want to go out and try snapping some especially), have a browse through the Flick groups linked above, and you’ll quickly develop a sense of what works and what’s less effective.

You know what I’m going to say now, don’t you? If you, too, are persuaded into Sherlocking a few of your favourite photos, leave us a link in the comments, or post the results in our Flickr group. You could say it’s elementary, dear blog-readers.




Sarah said...

Oh now, combining two of my favourite things. Photography and Sherlock. I too loved it, and was horrified to discover there were only 3 episodes. I'm sure there'll be more though.
Love the tricksy stuff. Will definitely have a go.

Hearthandmade said...

this looks great! IM going to check it out. i LOVED sherlock I hope theres another series

Carmen said...

I missed it - I kept forgetting. I'm definitely hoping it's repeated as my poor old pc can't handle iPlayer.

Love those photography effects - I'll have to remember this when I'm out with my camera :)

the green gal said...

I don't think it's possible to be overexcited about Sherlock, it's the best bit of TV made in a v long time. Love the clever tilt effect thingummy, and I love how something that I think looks super difficult and which I'll never have any idea how it works, is so often demystified by your clever brain!

HannahBanana said...

I did it! At last I copied and pasted. Thanks for a great post with a super link.

Rosie Bird said...

I also love Sherlock, and I am very intrigued by this tilt-effect. Will definitely try this and let you know how I get on.

In other news... Julie seems to have found out already, but I just wanted to officially let you know that I've nominated you for a Cherry on Top award. It's for blogs that have that little bit extra. You can read more about it on my blog.

Rosie Bird said...


Your post ended up inspiring ny boyfriend too. In fact he ended up taking over the controls for tilt-shifting. If you'd like to see how he got on, I've posted them on my blog.

Rosie x

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