We’ve seen a lot of optical illusion type photos taken in the Salt Flats of Uyuni that come out terribly fuzzy, so we thought we’d share with you how we got ours to be relatively clear.
In the photo above, Bryan looks like he is about to eat Kristin. To get a shot like this Kristin had to be far enough away from Bryan to appear small enough to sit on the spoon. You can eyeball this and have the person in the background move as necessary. Whoever is taking the photo needs to be down on the ground, relative to whoever is in the foreground of the shot. From here it’s just a matter of lining them up so that she appears to be all the way on the spoon instead of just above, or below it. In some cases it’s easier for the photographer to move, in others you can adjust the subjects slightly.
The real trick, however, is getting all the subject to be in focus. To accomplish this we used the manual settings on our cameras, though really you just need to be able to adjust the aperture. We set the aperture to a high number (the higher the number, the smaller the opening that lets the light in) and then let the camera set the shutter speed. In the first photo, we had the aperture at f29, with a 1/60 shutter speed. We took 8 or 10 photos, adjusting the focus slightly in each one until we were happy. Sometimes it works to focus somewhere in between the subjects, other times it works better to focus on either the front or the back subject. At this point I can’t remember what worked best in each photo, but just take loads and you’ll be sure to get at least a few that turn out.
For some, like the jumping shots with the guidebook, the photographer has to get right down onto the ground in order for the effect to work correctly.
Again, the key for us seemed to be getting the aperture at a high setting, with a slower shutter speed. For the jump shot we used f25 with a 1/80 shutter speed.
Good luck, and don’t forget to bring some props!