Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun with Tilt Shift Photography--A Mini Tutorial

Before I left on my vacation to Europe, I did a little pre-travel research on Flickr (I love getting inspiration and ideas from all of the wonderful photos on that site).  Anyway, I stumbled upon some tilt-shift photos that were so fantastic and I knew I wanted to try and capture photos that would work with this style of photography.  The examples scattered throughout this post are my first attempt (I have a lot to learn) and you can find lots of great, amazing images on Flickr and at Smashing Magazine.

If you are not familiar with the term Tilt-Shift, basically it is the concept of capturing photos and making them look like a miniature scene.  You can do this by using tilt shift lenses or post processing in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.  There are also a number of apps out there that will also help you get this effect.  Snapseed is a great one that I like to use and for those of you who do not use Photoshop, you can also get this effect by going to an online site called TiltShift Maker.

Not all photos work for this type of photography.  It is best on images where you are shooting down and looking over your scene.  Although, a few of my examples were shot at eye level but I was far away from the subject (the train example).  Railways, street scenes, cityscapes, and landscapes are all great subjects for this type of photography.

I created the tilt shift effect on the photos above using Photoshop Elements and these simple steps.  There are other ways to do this too using the gradient tool.  Here is a link to a tutorial on how to use the gradient tool.

Tilt Shift Photography Using PSE and Gaussian Blur Filter

  1. Opened up my photo in PSE.
  2. Created a duplicate image layer using control J.
  3. Created an adjustment layer to pump up the saturation.
  4. On my duplicate image layer, I added a Gaussian Blur filter.  You can adjust the intensity of the blur to suit your liking.
  5. I then added a layer mask to my blurred image layer and using the eraser tool, removed the blur from the areas of the scene that I wanted to make look miniature.
  6. Next I flattened the image and saved as a new jpeg. 


  1. so fun lovely you.... and the last one... oh my... fabulous!!


    1. Thanks so much! I think I found a new photo addiction--tilt shift is the new black.


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