Quick “Miniature” Scenes at TiltShiftMaker

Last month, I made a post about tilt shift photography. Making these scenes would normally require an expensive program such as Photoshop.

Lifehacker featured a website that allows users to generate their own miniature scenes! TiltShiftMaker processes the supplied photo (either from a web URL or uploaded from the user’s machine) using the standard Photoshop trick. You can change the height of the focal point, and shift it up and down. Once the preview is to your liking, you can download a full copy of the image.

The process is very easy to use, and the website seems to be holding up well so far. Images were quickly processed, and the results were as expected.

As with making your own tilt shift images, the limiting factor is the source image. If the image does not look like it could be a naturally-photographed miniature scene, then adding a blur effect will not help. With the convenience of the website, you will find yourself hunting around for pictures that will work.

Unfortunately, there is currently no setting for blur strength. Many of the best tilt shift images used a much weaker blur effect than the one used on the website. As the site suggests, if only part of your image looks good, consider cropping the full version down. This will allow you to remove the blurriest sections of your photos.

Curious about how to actually do tilt shift photography (without help from programs?) Lifehacker had a nice explanation of the physical process:

What is tilt-shift photography? A lens is used that allows the photographer to tilt the focal plane—in a regular camera the focal plane is fixed in parallel to the film or image sense— and to shift the part of the barrel of the lens up to correct for the distortion in things like tall buildings. One of the more recognizable traits of tilt-shift lenses is how their extremely shallow depth of field creates a feeling that one is looking at a photograph of a tiny model of something instead of the real thing. For the purists, sure it’s cheating. But tilt-shift lenses start at $1200’ish and only rise in cost from there. Most people won’t be running out to buy a lens that expensive for a little hobbyist fun.

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