|Posted by FastEddy|
It's because the foreground and the background are both out of focus, which is pretty much impossible to do from a distance, so it looks like a macro shot.
It is very pronounced and very badass.
Maybe Alice will shine a light onto this mystery. I'm guessing post-processing.
(Long post, as any technical discussion tends to be... especially mine.)
It's called tilt-shift photography, specifically the tilt aspect in this example. Traditionally, it was done optically (obviously, with film) with a specialized tilt-shift lens or with a large-format view camera that can move the lens relative to the film plane. It was often used in product and architectural photography where you can tilt the plane-of-focus so that an entire surface that is tilted relative to the film plane can be all in focus. You're not really increasing the depth-of-field (DoF), but you are tilting it so it encompasses the tilted surface in front of you.
Cue a fast-forward to recent...
People have discovered that the tilt effect can be basically completely screwed-with (compared to its original intent of getting everything in focus) by instead getting everything in focus (by tilting the DoF to encompass the tilted surface) but a narrow slice in focus (by tilting the DoF to sharply intersect the tilted surface). The real tilt-shift lenses that do this are very expensive and specialized tools, so a third-party lensmaker called Lensbaby are building what are termed "toy" lenses that can do this effect, but are not held to very high optical standards as "real" lenses are.
Cue a fast-forward to today...
Mirrorless cameras, by virtue of having a very short flange distance (much shorter than dSLRs, because there doesn't need to be space for a flapping mirror between the mount and the sensor), can often be adapted to use lenses for popular dSLR mounts with the use of an adapter, which makes up the distance between the lens and the body that would be required. People have also figured out that this distance that needs to be filled-up, in addition to the fact that most of the adapted legacy lenses have a light circle that cover the bigger 35mm format (which would be required if you're going to tilt and shift that light circle around to achieve your desired effect)... they figured out that you can make a tilt or shift (I haven't seen one that does both yet) adapter to fit between the lens and the mirrorless camera and get the tilt (or shift) effect cheaply. Personally, I'm waiting for a shift adapter for Contax-Yashica lenses for my NEX, as I have a good collection of those lenses lying around, and a couple of Zeiss'.
It needs to be noted that both tilt and shift effects can now be digitally-faked these days. The shift effect can be easily done in Photoshop/Lightroom as some variation of the transform effect, which I sometimes use to fix convergence that I don't want. The only cost is that of ultimate resolution on the end being stretched, which is not really noticeable unless you're shifting hard (I never do this) and printing large. You can't see it in web resolutions. I don't know if the tilt effect can be faked in Photoshop/Lightroom specifically (as I never do this), but I'm sure it is doable in software. It's basically a blur gradient on top and on bottom. My camera has an internal "fake miniature" mode that does this (but I never use it). The cost is that in certain shots, the faking is more obvious. Say there is a large object that normally would stretch some part of the frame. In real tilt photography, the focal plane is changed, but it still should get most (if not all) of that object in focus, as its distance from you is still mostly the same. But in digitally-faked tilt photography, the blur gradient is applied across the frame, and it can't tell that this object (which stretched across a good part of the frame) should not be blurred as it stretches toward the ends.
I'd say VA's shot is digitally-faked tilt photography based on the look of the trees on the left side. Treetop vs. tree trunk.
Edit: Nevermind, VA told us exactly how he did this.