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Tilt Shift Photography Tips

Learn how to turn your life-size shots into model-like scenes.

| Creative

Tilt Shift photography is something that's grown in popularity over the last few years and with iPhone Apps and free online software now making the process as simple as clicking a button, it's a technique that won't be going away.

Here, we have a few suggestions on how you can create your Tilt Shift photos and some advice on what locations/subjects work the best.

What shots work?

Take your photo from above

You need to be high up, looking over but not above your scene. If you try and shoot directly on top of something your shot won't have the angle that makes people believe they're looking down on a tiny model. Also, you won't be able to get the depth of field that's needed for this technique to work.


Cities, roads, railways and valleys all work well just make sure you have a wide view and try not to pick a scene that has too much going on in it. As models of people are usually not too detailed, if people are in your scene make sure they're positioned towards the back of the shot so there facial expressions and other small details aren't visible. It will also help to make them appear smaller in the shot.

Sharp focus point

As the top and bottom parts of your image will be blurred, if you're taking a shot that you'll be processing in Photoshop or GIMP, you need a focal point that's sharp.

How do I produce a Tilt Shift photo?

In camera

Many compacts now have a Tilt Shift effect built-in as a feature or you can use your DSLR to turn the world into miniature. Take a look at our introduction to tilt photography for more information on how to create this effect in-camera.

Tilt Shift Photography Tips:
Photo by David Clapp.


If you already have a photo that will work well with a Tilt Shift effect applied, open it up in Photoshop and follow our tutorial.

Tilt Shift Photography Tips: Tilt Shift


Don't have Photoshop? You can create the same look in the free editing software called GIMP. Take a look at our tutorial: Tilt lens effect using GIMP.

Tilt Shift Photography Tips: Tilt Shift in GIMP


Tilt Shift Maker is a free online tool that will convert your photos into Tilt Shift images. You can also edit the look of the final photo and preview it online before you save your results.

Tilt Shift Photography Tips: Tilt Shift Maker

Take a look at the online tool here: Tilt Shift Maker

iPhone App

The Tilt Shift Generator is one of many iPhone Apps on the market that will allow you to create retro miniature pictures with your iPhone camera.

Take a look at the before and after shots here:

Tilt Shift Photography Tips: Car Park
Tilt Shift Photography Tips: Car Park Tilt Shift

Visit iTunes for more information: TiltShift Generator.

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Tilt Shift Photography Tips: Albelli photo book offer

Tilt Shift Photography Tips:

Tilt Shift Photography Tips:

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