Fakin’ the tilt…

April 29, 2008 at 2:20 pm 5 comments

Ok, bear with me. I’m not too good at writing tutorials but I’ll try and explain this.

I saw, somewhere on the Internet, about tilt shift photography and how it could be used to create photos that looked like miniatures. There is a specialised lens (worth $$$) that creates this effect, or there is the cheap way (which is what I did).

I didn’t invent this by any means, but I did take the steps and put them into an action. I’ve created a Photoshop action which you can download here – it will do most of the work for you but it still needs you to define the focus point. Sorry for those who don’t use Photoshop.

Here is my photo. Well, it actually my brother’s photo, but it was a good one to use. This technique is effective with scenes where there are things in the distance, like houses or cars, that are smaller in comparison to the whole photo. This one has a small tent/car surrounded by a lot of unimportant stuff.


(You can download the original photo to play with here)

ETA: Alternate links – action here and photo here.

Open the photo in Photoshop and load the action set Fakin’ the tilt. Run the action.

It will do a couple of things and then stop to wait for your input. You will need to select the Gradient tool and make sure the Reflected Gradient option is selected and the settings are these.


Next, hold your mouse down on the box in between the tent and the car and drag your mouse upward to the top of the trees in the background, like this:


Don’t panic – it should now look like this:


The area that’s not red will be the area in focus. When running this on your own photos, you might need to experiment to get the gradient in the right place and the right length.

Now press run to continue running the action and go and have a coffee. Or tea. Maybe some chocolate. This next bit seems to take a while and doesn’t need any input from you.

When it’s done, it should look like this:


As I have said, some photos work better than others. Experiment, have fun, and show me your results!

Catch ya…


Entry filed under: Digi Stuff, Life.

Happy World Tapir Day! Happy NSD!

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bettina  |  April 29, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Have you tried this effect on action photos… would it make the action look more “action-y”? Or group photos to make one person the center of attention?
    I’d try… but need to get my daughter ( yes, I’m one of the not so computer savy) put your file into my photoshop.

  • 2. Sharon  |  April 30, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Ive been trying to download this from 4shared and it just wont connect. Not sure whats wrong. I might have to come back and check later.

  • 3. Jeannie  |  April 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I, too, am having issues d/ling it. I did leave a comment while waiting for the file to “show up” then when I hit download it wouldn’t connect either.

  • 4. Diane  |  April 30, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! Unfortunately, I can’t DL either. I’ll keep trying though! Thanks!

  • 5. fikalo  |  May 11, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    This looks seriously cool!


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