How to Do Tilt-Shift Photography

Do you like to shrink things? Many photos display normal buildings and streets in a miniature view comparing with its original size, you can find this effect applied especially in outdoor photography such as football games, street views, and arial building photography.

The technique behind this effect is known as tilt-shift photography and it is one of the popular photography tricks to create this miniature effect. Thus, many photographers like to use the effect to shoot the scenes with different creative approach for viewing objects.

Taking tilt-shift photography is not that much easy as it appears ad it requires special knowledge, equipments and of course a lot of practice. In order to understand the tilt-shift photography, it is important to define what is tilt-shift photography from the photographers point of view.

What is Tilt Shift Photography?

the tilt-shift photography is the technique that is used to take photos that appear with miniature view with blur effect applied to the photo edges. The blur effect is actually supports the view shifting.

tilt-shift lens

There are two main techniques used in creating tilt-shift photos. The first one is using a special and expensive lens that can move to shifts from its main axe to point to objects with different angles. The tilt-shift photography lens allows you to change the focus and the view of the shot based in the angle and the movement of the lens from its default axe.

The other method is to create tilt-shift via Photoshop number of blur effect steps or use the recently added Tilt-Shift filter as we will see later.

How to Do Tilt Shift Photography

As mentioned earlier, the first method to shoot tilt-shift is to use tilt-shift photography lens, where you place the lens in front of the scene and change the direction of the scene angle to experience different types of tilt-shift photos. For example, one of the commonly-used effects is the toy town, where you need to point the camera down and tilting the lens up. This technique requires taking the shot from high viewpoint to get the best results.

The side view tilt-shift is another effect that can be achieved by pointing the tilt-shift photography lens to one side instead of up and down. Additionally, this effect requires very shallow depth of field.

The other method is to create tilt-shift in Photoshop using the newly added Tilt-Shift blur filter. This new filter was added to Adobe Photoshop CC version helping many photographers and designers to create tilt-shift photos without the need to buy expensive tilt-shift photography lens. All you need to do is to select the Tilt-Shift filter from the Blur Gallery in the Filters menu and you got the options to modify the tilt-shift effect as needed.

Generally, the Photoshop filter does not give the real effect of miniature taken by the tilt-shift lens as it allows more control over the angle of the light entering the camera through the lens.

Besides learning how to do tilt-shift photography, you need to put in mind some tips that can dramatically enhance your shot:

  • The tilt-shift photos should be taken from above with a shooting angle to get the correct miniature effect in the scene.
  • Make sure to have good light condition during taking the shot
  • Choose the simple scene to have better focus on the scene elements

Below are some examples for the different techniques for how to do tilt-shift photography:

tilt-shift photos
Photo by CharlesWb
tilt-shift photos
Photo by b4silio
tilt-shift photos
Photo by by Carnedepsiquiatrico
tilt-shift pictures
Photo by by Liten-Angel
tilt-shift pictures
Photo by by MrFloh

The tilt-shift photography produces very interesting scenes and in order to learn how to do tilt-shift photography, you need to learn how to use the tilt-shift lens and the different effects produced by every shifting for the lens head. The tilt-shift via Photoshop can help to get similar effect, but you may need extra modifications in he image in order to get a tilt-shift scene that is similar to the one created with the tilt-shift lens.

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This is Photographytuts editorial team. provides Photoshop tutorials for photographers, photography basics, Photoshop actions, resources, and photography marketing tips.

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