I’ve had an occasional obsession with fake miniature photographs. Creating them without a tilt-shift lens is more an art than a science. I never know what photos will work and which won’t. The above photo of my friend Rob playing golf was taken by another of our friends as he waited to tee off. Rob posted it to Facebook, and when I saw it, I knew it’d make a good fake mini. I downloaded the pic, processed it in Lightroom and Focus CK, and sure enough, it works.

I took these from the plane coming home from Cabo, and they should have worked better than they did:

Interstate highway, Houston.


Suburban neighborhood, Houston.


Neighborhood in San Jose Del Cabos, Mexico.


Houston trucking company.


Houston trucking company.

They’re amusing, especially the little Mexican neighborhood, but the rest don’t quite work. They’re faded and gritty, and I don’t like how I had to bump the contrast up and do a bunch of other detrimental stuff to counteract the bright Tex-Mex sunshine.

Part of the problem is what I’m shooting through: reinforced aircraft window. It’s (mostly) great at keeping people from getting sucked out of airplanes, an not bad for looking through. But shooting through it is a drag. Also, since you’re moving fast in a jet, even setting the shutter speed at 1/4,000 there’s so much motion it’s hard to get crisp images. You’re also moving fast, and in order to get decent images at all you need a telephoto lens. And guess what telephoto lenses don’t like: movement, something bouncy planes have in abundance.


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