Originally developed for architectural photography, tilting and shifting lenses are much more than gadgets for turning cars into toys. Professionals even use them to document the ins and outs of Formula One. Mega-sized gallery below.

Photography is complicated enough as it is, but when you add a lens that purposely manipulates the plane of focus or meddles with parallel lines, full comprehension will require a trip to the Physics section of your local bookstore to familiarize yourself with the work of Theodor Scheimpflug. The lenses used to take these photos are highly expensive and the output they produce cannot be used for straight news reportage, yet a handful a sports photographers employ them to capture the visuals of Grand Prix weekends in ways impossible with other equipment. And no, not every tilt-shift photo is a a fake miniature.

Click through for a distorted trip of the past three years of Formula One.

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

2008 Japanese Grand Prix

Here’s the Red Bull team having fun at Fuji Speedway. This is perhaps the most optically complex photo in our gallery and not only because you are probably spectacularly uninterested in the subjects in the plane of focus.

It’s because the girl’s left cheek also appears to be in focus, yet a blurred field separates it from the Red Bull team members. Physics majors, please explain in the comments.

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Kimi Räikkönen, 2009 Monaco Grand Prix

This is classic tilted plane fake miniaturization: the chap in the red car is Kimi Räikkönen, on his way to Ferrari’s only podium finish this year.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Jenson Button, 2009 Turkish Grand Prix

A tilted focus is great for portraiture: photographer Mark Thompson can direct our gaze to Jenson Button’s left eye at the exclusion of everything else. Button here is consulting with his teammates at the 2009 Turkish Grand Prix, before his crushing victory on race day.

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Jenson Button, 2009 British Grand Prix

If you tilt your plane of focus to a narrow vertical field, you can isolate a race car with sudden clarity. Jenson Button is seen here during free practice at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, where he lost by a wide margin to Red Bull’s flying Sebastian Vettel.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Felipe Massa, 2007 Monaco Grand Prix

Let’s see some Ferraris: Felipe Massa is seen here sharing a plane of focus with a bunch of yachts in Monaco harbor. He is on his way to finish third behind the twin McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Photo Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Michael Schumacher, 2008 German Grand Prix

Ferrari personnel in their red getups make for great photos: here’s Michael Schumacher at last year’s German Grand Prix, looking very excited as he’s sandwiched in between two aesthetic crimson blobs as the sole punk in blue jeans.

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Kimi Räikkönen, 2009 Turkish Grand Prix

Ferraris may suck this season, but even parked and hooked up to computers, they look gorgeous. 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen is about to go for a practice run at a race he would finish outside the points. Notice how the tilted plane renders everything but Räikkönen’s head and the yellow Scuderia Ferrari badge out of focus.

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Kimi Räikkönen, 2007 British Grand Prix

Last Ferrari photo, but look at the fancy British clouds, sharp only where they line up with the starting grid of Silverstone, which photographer Clive Mason chose as his plane of focus. Kimi Räikkönen is seen here in happier times: he is about to qualify second in the 2007 British Grand Prix, a race he would win on his way to claim the 2007 championship.

Photo Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Timo Glock, 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix

This photo captures like no other Mercedes-Benz’s renowned racing manager Alfred Neubauer’s observation that the racing driver is the loneliest creature in the universe. Neubauer invented pit signaling to remedy this, taking his Mercedes-Benz team to a hail of victories over three decades, while photographer Fred Dufour used a tilt lens to show Toyota’s Timo Glock practicing for the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

David Coulthard, 2008 German Grand Prix

It’s Mr. Jawbone right there in his Red Bull, in the waning months of his long career. Wearing a flameproof balaclava, he is a lone white human figure in a scaffolding of wire and carbon fiber suspension parts.

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Sebastian Vettel, 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix

Contrary to what you can read on the pit wall, this is David Coulthard’s successor Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull RB5 car, leaving the pits at the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Hamilton, Heidfeld, Fisichella and Alonso, 2009 Spanish Grand Prix

You can also use a tilt-shift lens to cut through the clutter of people at a press conference, picking out those that your viewers are probably most interested in: bitter 2007 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, shown here at a press conference three days before the 2009 Spanish Grand Prix.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Red Bull’s Guests, 2007 Italian Grand Prix

Like any other photographic technique, a tilted plane of focus can be used to capture gratuitous shots of young women. These blondes are guests of Red Bull at the 2007 Italian Grand Prix and judging solely on appearance, they are hopped up on the team’s signature soft drink.

Photo Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Jenson Button, 2009 British Grand Prix

And we’re back to toy cars. While photographer Fred Dufour probably did not know at the time he took this picture, Jenson Button’s usually dominant Brawn would actually be relegated to toy car status during last weekend’s British Grand Prix, as Red Bull’s upgraded RB5’s stormed the field, taking their second 1–2 victory of the season.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Sebastian Vettel, 2008 German Grand Prix

Black and white? Art! Focusing in a slanted plane on Sebastian Vettel’s face shows just how young Red Bull’s superfast German really is: he was born on July 3, 1987. When this photo was taken, he'd only been old enought to have a beer in America for less than two weeks.

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One Through Tilt-Shift LensesS

Fernando Alonso, 2009 Monaco Grand Prix

For a final tilted image, here’s one for pure aesthetic awesomeness. Fernando Alonso is taking the Grand Hotel Hairpin of the Monaco street circuit in the Renault during free practice at this year’s grand prix.

Photo Credit: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images