Gaining Perspective: Infinite + Intimate

Azusa Pacific University’s Ministry and Service team helps students gain perspective as they serve God, who is both infinitely grand and intimately personal.

Every person I have met that works at or volunteers with APU’s Ministry and Service office has had a passion for worldwide justice, yet also mercifully serves their local community. Like, tutoring local youth at the Azusa Homework House, volunteering at an Azusa food bank, and building mentoring relationships by coaching soccer in APU’s neighborhood.

A couple months ago, APU’s Minstry and Service office contacted us in hopes of commissioning some photographic art of Azusa. Although we were thrilled to shoot for a ministry we fully support, we struggled with a way to provide  photos of Azusa with an expansive perspective whilst keeping the photos personal – we wanted to take photos that were congruent with the nature of the work of the Ministry and Service office.

Our creative conundrum was solved, however, when we determined that we would take this photoshoot to a whole new level, quite literally. One phone call later, and Daniel was sitting in our friend Tulane’s four-person Cessna airplane above Azusa, camera and Canon 90mm f/2.8 tilt-shift lens in hand. 

While tilt-shift lenses are frequently used in architecture, perhaps their most fun use—or misuse—is taking photos from a high vantage point and throwing the foreground and background out of focus. The result: a miniaturization of the world. It’s like Honey I Shrunk The Kids for whole neighborhoods!  Huge cities appear accessible; landscapes become touchable. Just like the Ministry and Service office, we tried to gain perspective by holding the grand scale of a city and a personal focus in tension within one vision.

After capturing the photos he wanted for APU’s Ministry and Service office, Daniel took a few photos just for fun.

These could not be more unrelated to APU or Ministry and Service, but Daniel had a fun time getting these shots!

So where was I during this aerial photoshoot?

Safe and sound, on the ground.

But grateful for other perspectives.

Warmly,

megan

One phone call later, and Daniel was sitting in our friend Tulane’s four-person Cessna airplane above Azusa, camera and Canon 90mm f/2.8 tilt-shift lens in hand. While tilt-shift lenses are frequently used in architecture, perhaps their most fun use (or misuse) is taking photos from a high vantage point and throwing the foreground and background out of focus. The end result: a miniature world.



Emily - October 19, 2010 - 12:03 pm

BEAUTIFUL Daniel. I love the ones of the stadium and the L shaped chapel!

Jeff - October 19, 2010 - 12:56 pm

These are AWESOME! Great idea!! :)

daniel - October 19, 2010 - 6:10 pm

Thanks Emily and Jeff! I continue to enjoy pushing the boundaries of what we’re capable of!

Jen - October 19, 2010 - 6:26 pm

Daniel…those are so cool!!! They almost looked like little tiny cities you created out of clay… Incredible!

Crystal - October 19, 2010 - 7:36 pm

These are fantastic! I love them. Can’t wait to see what else you do with the tilt shift!

daniel - October 20, 2010 - 11:45 pm

Thanks Jen and Crystal! I think tilt-shift would be fun to experiment with for portraits. I’ve seen it done well before. I’d love to do another series of these. We’re getting a lot of interest from locals in doing a series of our hometown Monrovia, CA. Perhaps you’ll be seeing some more aerial photos in the future. =)

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