Among the notable new features in CS6 are a variety of blur effects that more accurately mimic in-camera tricks used by photographers. One of our favorites is the tilt-shift effect.
Tilt-shift photography fools the eye by moving the camera during exposure to blur parts of the frame around an in-focus point of interest. The result makes objects appear far smaller than they truly are, causing them to appear to be itsy-bitsy miniatures, rather than their real-life counterparts. Tilt-shift is a technique that originates in large format, bellows operated cameras in which the plane of focus literally shifts and tilts to create a blurred or concentrated perspective.
With the latest edition of Photoshop, you can now give just about any photo the miniaturization treatment.
Here's how to do it:
1. Select the image. For this particular trick, you'll want a photo with lots of detail in both the foreground and background, so the focus effect has something to work with. For this tutorial, we'll use "Freight train passing the countryside" by Shutterstock contributor remik44992. This shot has lots of trees throughout the image for the filter to chew on.
Duplicate the background layer, then select Filter > Blur > Tilt-Shift.
2. Apply the Blur Filter. Adjust the position of the blur field by dragging the center (circle) on top of your point of interest, then pull the solid and dotted lines. You can get your best results when you have the focus fall off more steeply in front of the subject (lines closer together), and more gradually in the background (lines further apart). Adjust the level of blur with the slider. For this image, I cranked it up to 36.
3. Make adjustments. Another trick to making the photo look like a miniature is pumping up the saturation and contrast. This reduces any haze that comes with distance and brightens up the colors, giving the items in the field a hand-painted effect. To achieve this, I duplicated the work layer and applied an Overlay layer effect. It was a bit too bright, so I adjusted the opacity of the layer down to 72%.
And that's it. We have our scene! What do you think? Can you replicate our results?
- Tutorial by Byron Hudson
IMAGES USED IN THIS TUTORIAL: