Over the summer I’ve been reading various books about the explorations of David Hockney, mostly expressed in the form of interviews. A lot of what he has gotten into is around the idea of perspective, of how the 3-D world is translated into 2-D. He talks about Chinese scrolls, and the idea that he can walk through the scene, that there is movement, a progression through space and maybe even time. So I decided to do an experiment and set up the camera on the back deck and pointed it at the field next door.
Using the shift mechanism in my lens adapter, I made three exposures. Normally, when I am creating a horizontal panorama using this technique, I will lock the exposure and focus, so that it is consistent, and they can be stitched together more easily. But for a vertical, especially one this extreme, I set the exposure that each phase needed. And I also refocused for each; for the lowest, I focused on the foreground, for the middle, on the middle ground, and for the top, for the more distant trees.
I don’t know which part of the process caused the trouble, but neither Lightroom nor Photoshop could do the stitch / merge completely automatically, and I had to load the three files into Photoshop and then it could take over and complete the process.
I’m not sure how successful it was; obviously the scene is very different from that typical in Chinese scrolls; and I wonder if that piece of near tree at the top of the image is destroying the effect. But I found it an interesting experiment and will be on the look out for scenes where it might be a more appropriate technique.