Photography Trick – “Miniature” Scenes

Mini Scene - IconEver wonder how photographs of real life can be altered to look like a miniature scene? Visual Photo Guide has a tutorial on how to make your own.

It’s a neat trick…until you learn how it’s done. Then it feels like a disappointment, and you can tell most of these images are obviously not miniatures.

Miniature Scene - Car

Miniature Scene - Car

To start, you’ll need an advanced photo editing program like Photoshop. Add a radial gradient (centered around the subject) in a new layer, and make that layer act as a Gaussian blur effect on the layer below. If you want the effect to appear more believable, increase the saturation on the image to make the colors seem brighter (as TV has taught us, gray color palettes indicate reality, and bright color palettes indicate fantasy).

Miniature Scene - City

Miniature Scene - City

This process seems simple enough, but there’s a hard part. If you don’t have a photograph that could already pass as a miniature scene (taken at a high angle, etc), then adding a blur effect won’t be very convincing. So, as with most artistic projects, the source material is what makes or breaks the project.

Check out the tutorial selected by Lifehacker – it has the best explanation of the process, though the produced photographs are not very convincing.

Update: Check out <a href=””>my article on TiltShiftMaker</a>, so you can start making your own miniature scenes on an easy-to-use website!


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