The Sandpit
March 8, 2010 3:07 PM   Subscribe

The Sandpit A day in the life of New York City, in miniature. By Sam O'Hare
posted by chillmost (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
As much as I officially can't stand the whole tilt-shift/stop motion thing (my brain says: it's such a gimmick!), I still love this stuff. So clean and cute. If only real life were so tiny.
posted by AlisonM at 3:18 PM on March 8, 2010

Wait, are we over tilt shift? I don't care. I loved this. The harbor and construction shots were my favorite - the sped up motion of the waves tossing the flat barges around like walnut shell toy boats is a pretty great catch that really makes those shots work. Plus, tiny cranes and dump trucks! Awesome!
posted by peachfuzz at 3:32 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

What happens if you made a diorama and then filmed it in tilt-shift?
posted by schwa at 3:47 PM on March 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

The boats and helicopters work really well in this.
posted by brundlefly at 4:03 PM on March 8, 2010

Like peachfuzz, I really enjoyed the shots of boats and construction activity...seeing massive vehicles in complex situations (the helicopters bouncing in the air, ferries sloshing about in waves, excavators moving huge chunks of stuff around) from this kind of perspective fascinates me. Humans have such crazy tools! The rooftop and street shots weren't as interesting, perhaps because they are a little over done at this point (didn't Baraka pretty much nail that one?).

Also, a note on tilt shift: as the photographer explains here (in an overly chatty interview) this isn't 'real' tiltshift (achieved with a special lens). This was shot with normal lens and the focus blur was added in post, allowing for racked focus pulls and more complex focus masking. I am quickly getting tired of this effect, especially when it's used to compensate for poor composition or subject matter (like in a few of the shots in this piece), or to make something seem 'foreign' when really you need more effective material or editing.

But yeah, it's hard not to love little dump trucks!
posted by soy bean at 4:17 PM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Dear Sam O'Hare:

Please to be acknowledging the debt you owe to Keith Loutit, who did exactly the same thing a year ago, and even gave his series of films (the best of which is this one) a very similar title. Thanks in advance.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 4:22 PM on March 8, 2010 [6 favorites]

And, Keith Loutit adds the drop-frame thing that makes the shots with wee people moving around look like stop motion so they're as cool as the boat and helicopter shots that totally look like RC.
posted by nicwolff at 5:14 PM on March 8, 2010

the keith loutit videos are vastly better, imo.
posted by empath at 10:21 PM on March 8, 2010

I thought it was really a model for the first couple seconds. Then I saw people moving around and was filled with disappointment.
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:15 AM on March 9, 2010

Nearly seven billion of us wee folk on a pale blue orb. Methinks our influence is greatly exaggerated.
posted by cenoxo at 3:53 AM on March 9, 2010

It looks like he's turned Manhattan into the Island of Sodor.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 8:19 AM on March 9, 2010

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