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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tilt-shift your photos

vespas tiltshift
© 2009 Simon Hucko

Remember those tilt-shift videos from Keith Loutit that I posted a while back? Tilt-shift lenses have the amazing ability to make scenes look like miniature models by manipulating the depth of field and tricking your brain. It's an awesome effect, but an expensive one to do in camera - most tilt-shift lenses cost around $2000. Yikes.

Fear not, there are plenty of ways to simulate the effect in post. I just tried out an online TiltShift Gadget from, and have to say I really like the results. Click on my photo above to see it larger. Here's the original below:

scooters on parade
© 2007 Simon Hucko

The applet is designed for web use, so it doesn't play as nicely with images larger than 1600p. You can also download it as a stand-alone app, and install a plugin that supports drag-and-drop.

A fun little tool that's easy to use and definitely worth playing with. Give it a try, and share your results in the comments!



  1. What do you think are the best subjects/compositions for this effect to work well?

  2. I don't have a lot of experience with this, but from what I've seen this effect generally works best with a wide angle shot from a moderate to far distance. The scooters above work because of the angle - they go deeper into the frame from right to left, so by slicing off a narrow band to keep in focus it looks like it was taken close-up on a model.

    When I get some time I want to play with old photos of mine and see what works well and what doesn't. This gadget can also be used to create selective focus in a shot, akin to the Lensbaby look. Different effect, but fun to play with