tilt-shift photoshop effect

We posted some really cool examples of Tilt-shift photography a few days ago and I wanted to follow up with an example of how to make a tilt-shift photo effect in photoshop. Creating a tilt-shift effect in Photoshop is actually a pretty easy process and a fun way to get creative with some of your photos.

We will start with a simple photo of one of my favorite places, Venice.
tilt shift photoshop example

First select the Quick Mask tool (at the bottom of your toolbar, or click Q on the mac), then click the Gradient Tool and make sure the color of the gradient is going from black to white and you are using the reflective gradient. Then draw a vertical line from the middle of what you want to be in focus to where you want the blur to start. You will see the red mask showing you what will be in focus in dark red and starting to blur where the red starts to fade. If it doesn’t come our right the first time just draw another line until you get the blur area how you would like it.

tilt shift photoshop example

Next exit out of quick mask mode by clicking Q again (mac users) or clicking on the quick mask button. This will take you back to the standard screen with your selection shown.
tilt shift photoshop example

Next we are going to apply a lens blur to our selection, click on Filter –> Blur –> Lens Blur. The radius slider is going to be the most important setting here that will effect how much blur the photo has. Adjust the sliders until you get the effect you are looking for.
Tilt shift photography examples

And that’s it! Pretty quick and easy. If you want to tone your image after this (sometimes a sepia or aged tone can look really cool for these images) or if you are going for that miniature toy look to the photo try adjusting the contrast a little higher and the saturation.

Tilt shift photography examples

Do you have a great tilt-shift photo to share? Head over to our facebook page and post one on our wall: http://www.facebook.com/digitalphotobuzz

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this simple tutorial! I usually hate reading tutorials, but I sat down and followed your direction and now I can do the tilt-shift effect! So fun!

  2. Thanks Rachael, glad you enjoyed the tutorial!


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