Tilt-Shift Your Way to Glory

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm kind of obsessed with tilt-shift photography. Which is a shame because I've only been able to pull off a tilt-shift once so far.

Tilt-shift refers to the practice of adjusting the focus of a photo or video in such a way that the content looks like a miniature model, preferably complete with little tiny people bustling around. Fancy-pants people accomplish this with a tilt-shift lens on their fancy-pants camera, but the effect can be accomplished well enough in Photoshop. In fact, the Camera 360 app I have on my phone has a tilt-shift option.

by Jack Ambridge
The part I find tricky is finding locations high enough to take a good shot from, as you kind of need to be... up to pull off a good tilt-shift image. If you search for "tilt-shift" on Flickr you will find an excess of examples of people trying to make a tilt-shift image out of photos that are just plain too close.

So, if you're going to try this, be sure you're taking your photo from far away and from above. Or below, I guess. It's possible to make a tilt-shift photo from ground-level, but I've seen very few examples where it hasn't come out looking lame. Once you've got a photo that you think will look cute all fake-miniaturized, here's a good tutorial on how to get the effect. Or just upload it to TiltShiftMaker.com. You know, whichever.

The one I made was done in Photoshop, and I took it from the top of Mickey's Fun Wheel in Disney's California Adventure park.


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