How often do you come across some creative endeavor which actually causes you exclaim: “Wow!, cool.”? (Or some derivative albeit more eloquent). In the next phase, you immediately and unwittingly start wondering how it was done. You then move on, pondering the number of hours it must have taken to accomplish this feat. Your brain continues, unaided, along this line of thinking. Thankfully, we have the internet to answer all of these question. Well, this happened to me when I saw A Tiny Day in the Jackson Hole Backcountry. The film was created by Tristan Greszko, an excellent outdoor photographer. The film uses a technique called Miniature Faking, backed by a remix of Pink Floyd by Pretty Lights, which you can download here. This is what the internet has to say about this technique. (PS. I heart you internet. – place emoticon of your choice here).
Short answer: Because your photos will turn out better. Long answer: It’s a bit complicated, but here goes. First, lets talk about digital cameras. Behind the lens is a contraption called a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) that acts as an image sensor. It acts just like a piece of film. Basically, light hits it, and it records the information and transfers it to the the memory card in the camera as a picture. Simple so far. Now, I want you to think of all the information that the CCD records as a deck of cards. And lets use a photo’s brightness for this analogy. If the deck of cards is on the table, each card is a picture with the bottom card being a really dark version, the top card is a really light version, and the 50 cards in the middle are varying degrees of light to dark. OK, with me so far?