Tilt-Shift Photography, Miniature Faking, etc

Since my Big Ben “pseudo tilt-shift” got featured in Abduzeedo’s Daily Inspiration the other day I thought I’d talk a little more about “tilt-shift” and what I’ve learnt in the last couple of weeks.

What is tilt-shift photography?

Really and truly the popular thing at the moment is actually “miniature faking” via digital post-processing – I don’t think there’s many people out there with the lens required to achieve this effect out of camera.

Wiki Says:

Miniature faking is a process in which a photograph of a life-size location or object is made to look like a photograph of a miniature scale model. Blurring parts of the photo simulates the shallow depth of field normally encountered in close-up photography, making the scene seem much smaller than it actually is.

Show me some examples

Did I tell you, I simply love this effect? So do a lot of other people at the moment! For more examples of beautiful tilt-shift photography, check out these links!

How can I make a miniature fake?

Firstly, it’s good to think about your angle when taking the picture – above is better. It implies that what’s below you is smaller than you, and is how you’d look at a “toy town”. I had the advantage of being on the London Eye, so up nice and high. You can get the effect from any angle, but above just seems to emphasise it all the more.

Taking it into Photoshop

To boil it down as simply as possible, select an area with a gradient in quick mask mode, use lens blur on the selected area and then boost the saturation. For a detailed tutorial, this is the one I used to get started.

Boosting the saturation is important, because it gives it that lovely vibrant “toy” effect that we’re looking for. I usually tweak the curves and other things, whatever looks good

There are also websites out there which will do this for you, though I prefer greater control.

So, show me your tilt-shift miniature fakes!