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Photo Finish – See the Happy Valley Races like Never Before

By Stasia Fong 17 January 2014
Unless you’ve been hiding in a hole for the past couple of years, you’ll have stumbled across tilt-shift photography, perhaps without even realising it. This week we were wowed by Happy Hippodrome, a three-minute masterpiece that makes Hong Kong’s Happy Valley Races appear as if in miniature. In a bid to find out more about this increasingly popular camera technique, we spoke to the video’s maker Joerg Daiber about his tilt-shift takeover via LittleBigWorld. Berliner Joerg Daiber has turned some of the world’s biggest visitor destinations into seemingly tiny miniature models via the medium of tilt-shift photography. But it turns out that this intrepid traveller has not been painstakingly recreating his holiday snapshots out of Plasticine, as he explained when answering our curious and clueless questions. Joerg describes a tilt shift video as: “applying blur to the images so the human eye is fooled into thinking that the image is macro photography. Then there are a few other elements that help sell the effect, like shooting with wide-angle lenses from elevated positions and adding contrast and saturation to the image.” Looking to shoot the next viral video? Seek the help of these skilled Hong Kong videographers Joerg shot the Happy Hippodrome video in a single night, filming all activities from different angles and perspective before editing it together to show one race in chronological order. “The down side was that I was only able to bet on one race since I was so busy shooting,” said Joerg. “Needless to say I did not win.” This is the second time Joerg has chosen to feature Hong Kong in LittleBigWorld, with his Hazy Hong Kong video making an appearance on the Localiiz Facebook page last month. And what inspired Joerg to bring his art back to our city again? He loves Hong Kong! “All in all, it's a totally crazy city and probably the most bustling, busy and densely populated place I have ever been. Coming back to Berlin almost felt like returning to a deserted Western town with tumbleweeds rolling through,” he said.

All we can say is that we hope he visits again soon and brings us more amazing miniature videos of our beloved big city. If you enjoyed this video as much as we did, take a peek at the rest of Joerg’s videos, and stay tuned to Localiiz for his next Hong Kong installment.

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Born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, Stasia Fong is a freelance writer with dreams of breaking into the television industry and executive produce her own television show.