How to Apply a Tilt-Shift Effect to Your Photos in Photoshop
In this tutorial, I`m going to show you how to apply a very nice tilt-shift effect to your photos. The result will give you the impression that the picture is just a miniature-scale model. This effect is very easily to achieve in Photoshop following just a few steps and combined with some simple image adjustments will deliver a high-quality miniature-faking outcome.
Tilt-Shift photo effect can be achieved straight from your camera while taking photos, using tilt-shift lens, which simulates a shallow depth of field. But if you don`t have the tilt-shift lens yet, don`t worry because you can create this effect using digital tools like the very popular Photoshop.
Many people use the term of "Tilt-Shift" when referring to this type of effect, but more accurate is to use the term called "Miniature faking".
Miniature faking is a process in which a photograph of a life-size location or object is made to look like a photograph of a miniature scale model. Blurring parts of the photo simulates the shallow depth of field normally encountered in close-up photography, making the scene seem much smaller than it actually is.
The most important thing when shooting for faked-miniature photographs is to take the shots from a high angle to simulate the effect of looking down on a miniature, otherwise, the effect isn`t so obvious.
Okay, enough talking, let`s do some miniature-faking. I browsed Flickr for a good picture and found one of Manhattan taken from the air(very important). Download it and import it into Photoshop. For your info, I worked with the Medium 640px size image.
Next step is to switch to "Edit in Quick Mask Mode(Q)". We need to create a global mask for the image in order to blur the photo. So press the "Edit in Quick Mask Mode" button or just press "Q" to switch from standard to quick mask mode.
Now that you`re in the quick mask mode, grab the Gradient Tool, choose "Reflected Gradient" from options panel and draw a horizontal line from top to bottom at the middle of the image.
You notice that a big horizontal red strip appeared over the middle of the image. That zone will not be affected by the blur and will create the shift-tilt effect.
Now press again "Q" or "Edit in Standard Mode". The upper and bottom areas of the image should be selected because of the gradient applied in quick mask mode.
It`s time to blur the photo now. Go to Filter->Blur->Lens Blur and add a blur with a radius of 18px and the hexagonal shape. This should be enough to create the miniature faking effect we`re looking for.
The image looks like this and the effect is pretty obvious:
Now let`s add some final touches to improve the quality of the image. Go to Layer->New Adjustments Layer and add the next settings:
With this final touches, the picture is done. The tilt-shift or miniature-faking effect(call it how you want) has been applied and the quality of the image has been improved using some simple image adjustments. Take a look at the difference between the original and the altered photo:
Using these technique, you can modify your own photos but for better results, use photos taken from a high-angle(from air). I thank you for following me trough the tutorial and if you have any feedback, drop a comment below!