I recently discovered tilt-shifting photography. Actually, my brother's responsible for this discovery. I immediately appreciated the illusion created and started searching on tools and technique to achieve such photos. If you are new to this technique, take a few minutes to watch this tilt-shifting video.
The author mixes tilt-shifting and time lapse to create a remarkable effect.
Now, how can you do your own? Follow these simple steps.
1 - Photo Selection
Choose a photo shot from above the ground. The angle emphasizes the miniature effect.
2 - Quick Mask
Open Photoshop and enter in Quick Mask Mode (Q) - or click on the icon in the tools
3 - Gradient
Select the Gradient Tool (G) and make sure you have the Reflected Gradient selected.
Just to be sure you have the default colors selected, press (D).
The goal here is to define the area that will not get blurred. You should start your gradient in the middle of the focused area and go up, vertically to the end of the clear area. For this example, I started in the middle of the building with white window sills and finished near the end of the roof of the stadium. Once you release the mouse, you will see the clear zone in red. You can you the eraser or the brush to add and remove details like the white tower in this picture. It might take you a few experiments before you get the perfect effect.
4 - Lens Blur
Exit Quick Mask Mode (Q). You will see the selection you made surrounded by the marching ants.
Click on Filter - Blur - Lens Blur
5 - Adjust Blur
Setting the Iris Radius between 15 and 30 seems to give good results. Everything else I left the defaults.
Click OK to return to the picture.
6 - Saturation
Press Command-D (CTRL-D on PC) to release the selection and go to Image - Adjustments - Hue/Saturation or press Command-U (CTRL-U on PC)
I set the saturation between +40 and +60. It's up to you.
7 - Share it
You're done! Save the picture and share it with your friends on Facebook or SendPhotos. Pretend you built the miniature in your basement, they'll be amazed ;)
Who recognizes this stadium by the way?