Toying with tilt shift

Have you ever seen images that look as if they are miniature scenes made up of toys? I’ve always wondered how they can be created successfully. A tilt-shift lens can achieve this but they’re quite pricy and I can’t justify paying a lot for something I’d use infrequently. After searching on the web I found a really easy to use step by step guide to creating this effect at Photoble. There are a surprisingly few number of steps to creating a tilt shift effect, but a lot of patience is needed to make it look realistic. The key to being successful is using an image that has been taken high up, looking down at a scene consisting of people, traffic and buildings. Whilst trying to find a suitable image I realised that I rarely take that kind of photo. Most of my own style involves tightly framed, close-ups of subjects. Eventually I found this image looking down at the dockside of Cadiz (below).

Original Image

Unfortunately the image I had chosen didn’t have any people in it, but there was a lot of traffic and I particularly liked how the white lorry in the left lower third was a feature of the scene.

I opened it in Photoshop CS5 and then pressed ‘Q’ to enter ‘Quick mask’ mode. Then I ensured the gradient was selected as ‘Reflected Gradient’ and drew a vertical line near the white lorry. After that I applied a ‘Lens Blur’ filter, with a radius of 30. This stage mostly involved trial and error, altering the position of the mask until the effect looked right. Finally I increased the contrast and saturation to give it some punch. Below is my final image.

Cadiz Tilt Shifted

I think it works well, but would have liked it to have included some people. In the future I will make more of an effort to look for opportunities where I can take photos from high angles and experiment further with this effect.

About Matt

Photography degree student with the Open College of the Arts.
This entry was posted in DPP, Project 3: Processing the Image and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s