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Tips & Tricks

Creating a Tilt Shift Effect

Tilt shift photographs create an optical illusion that makes scenes appear as if they are actually miniature models. The outer edges are blurred which tricks the eye into perceiving everything in the un-blurred parts as miniature. There is a Flickr group dedicated to this technique. Its a fun post processing trick - and its quite easy to reproduce. Here is a Photoshop tutorial for creating fake tilt shift photos.
1. Taking the photo. An above ground shot is usually best for this type of technique. Cityscapes, crowds, streets, and similar things are perfect.
2. Open the shot in Adobe Photoshop and click onto quick mask mode.
3. Select the gradient tool.
4. Select the reflected gradient.
5. Draw vertically upwards from where you want the point of focus to be up the screen to the top of the window, and release the mouse button. A red transparent line should appear.
6. Go back into Standard Mask Mode.
7. In Photoshop CS2 or CS3 go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur (Or if you have Photoshop 7.0 you can use Gaussian Blur). Then select the amount of blur you would like. You can experiment with the radius value a bit to see what amount of blur looks best.
8. (Optional) For a more plastic feel you can increase the saturation and contrast in the photo.
There you have it - you should have a nice fake tilt shift photo. You can experiment with lots of different photographs - some are a lot better than others for miniaturization.

Design by Burnt Loaf