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Tilt Shift Photography

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography, Photo Editing

CC image courtesy of Lee Cannon

So what is tilt-shift photography? It’s a technique where a real world scene can be made to look like a miniature, animated-like photograph. Like something out of a cartoon.

Today, tilt-shift photography is gaining popularity like never before.

Tilt-shift effects can be done either optically, for which you need a really expensive lens or with Photoshop. In Photoshop, all it takes is some expertise and lo, you’ll have the effect in less than a minute.

However, if you do not have Photoshop, or don’t know how to work it, you could go to and try out their free service.

CC image courtesy of Rami

For a good tilt-shift photo, here are the essentials:

1. Aerial photography is a must, but not from direct overhead, as you won’t get a decent depth of field when taken from this angle.

2. Simple scenes show better results.

3. The image needs to be sharp and precise.

4. Choose interesting scenes and avoid wide-angle shots.

Once you’ve selected your photo, you can tilt-shift it in Photoshop. And if you’ve no idea how to work on Photoshop, visit for a tutorial.

The steps are:

1. Choose your subject of interest in the image.

2. Create a mask using the gradient tool and decide where the blur gradient needs to be placed.  This applies the lens blur filter. The effect already begins to show. You can do the rest, like blur the greens out – so on and so forth.

3. Finally, you can use the curve tool to enhance the contrast in high tonal highlights of the image.

Your tilt-shift effect is done.

CC image courtesy of Jargalsaikhan.D

~Zahid Javali

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One Response to “Tilt Shift Photography”

  1. Robert Wurzburg says:

    Interesting technique for certain select photographs as a construction type
    method for framing a scene.

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