Aug 31

Tilt Shift Tutorial – Create Tilt Shift Photography

Tilt Shift Tutorial

Tilt Shift Photography has become fairly popular over the past few years in the field of photography. A “tilt shift” effect takes a scene and makes it look as if it’s a photograph of a miniature scene. It works by using a blur effect to simulate a small depth of field that is normally encountered in macro photographs. In addition to utilizing a blur effect, we increase the color saturation to simulate the bright paint normally found on miniature models. In order to create a successful tilt shift photograph, it is recommended that the picture be taken as if you’re looking down on the scene. Below is my original photo which I took while flying over the city of Toronto, Canada. While I say the picture should be looking down on the scene, this picture is an extreme case and photos can also be taken from not this high up.


1. Open your photo in Photoshop. Duplicate the background layer by pressing Control + J (or Command + J on Mac). Working in this new layer, go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and choose a value around 8.

Gaussian Blur


2. Duplicate the background layer again by selecting it and pressing Control + J. In this new layer, use the Lasso Tool to select the area that you want to be in focus. You typically want this area to be horizontal across the screen, with the top third and bottom third not selected.

Lasso Tool

3. Choose Select -> Feather and a value around 150. This will create smoother lines around your selection.



4. DO NOT switch the layer you’re working in and create a new layer by pressing Control + J again. Now click on this layer and drag it to the top of the layers list. At this point you should be able to see the tilt shift effect!

New Selection Layer

Move Selection Layer Up

5. Now flatten your image by clicking on the option tab near the layers window and select “Flatten Image.”

Flatten Image

6. To increase the effect, click on “Quick” underneath the “Edit” bar on the right hand side of the screen or go to Enhance -> Adjust Color -> Adjust Hue/Saturation and increase the saturation to your achieve your desired look.



Here is my finished Toronto miniature! Send me yours at visionsphotographybyashley@gmail.com


Thanks for reading!

~ Ashley

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