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Tilt-Shift photography is a miniatures faking technique. You will question whether they are objects or locations in real life or in miniature-scale model. Then, they are called as tilt-shift pictures. Usually, photographers love to play this trick on architectures, vehicles and people.

This type of optical illusion can be created through Photoshop or other photo editing programs. You, in order to produce closer-to-real tilt-shift pictures, will have to manipulate color saturation and contrast. Do you notice color painting for miniatures is usually bright and vivid? So now you are changing the intensity of those colors. Moreover, blurring some regions to focus on one certain area will enhance the tilt-shift photography effect. A photographer might worry about the originality of tilt-shift pictures. As if relying on too much digital processing, as what is in photographers’ terms, the photo is not “organic”.

It is not merely dependent on post-processing. Of course, tilt-shift photography has specified skills too. Angle is what defining the success of tilt-shift photography. A high angle will give a feel like looking down on the “miniatures”. Furthermore, the depth of field is another determining factor. Shallower it is, stronger the tilt-shift effect. Selective focus, which is about the f-number and tilt level, must be always practiced to get familiar and play with those settings. A special tilt-shift lens can also simulate the scene to let it seem much smaller than the actual measurement.

Going back to its name, “tilt-shift” represents two camera movements: “tilt” means rotation of lens plane relative to the image plane while “shift” means movement of lens plane parallel to image plane. Canon and Nikon respectively offer tilt-shift lenses. However, it is sure more expensive compared to other lenses without movement.

Tilt is very helpful to produce sharper “miniatures” through controlling PoF (plane of focus). Besides, shift can alter the image position without moving the camera back. This feature especially aids tilt-shift photography of tall buildings.

Both features must be together to produce a series of compelling tilt-shift pictures. Without a shift lens, you may not be able to capture the top of one building. Otherwise, an illusion of a backward-falling building will be produced if with only tilt lens. Yet, under some situations, you may only need to tilt the lens, instead of using both functions. Those photos are still considered as tilt-shift pictures although shift is totally irrelevant. It may be followed with the lens that you are using.

From the below 35 awesome masterpieces, you can realize that tilt-shift photography is particularly well-known in architectural and landscape photography. In fact, it can be used in motion pictures too.

Johannesburg in South Africa

Start with Johannesburg, it is like an architectural model for property developers.
Johannesburg in South Africa

Coconuco – Cauca

People inside the frame become tiny people in the miniature model.
Coconuco - Cauca

Baghdad in tilt-shift

Sky also never seems as the sky in tilt-shift photos.
Baghdad in tilt-shift

Tilt Shift Suburbia

If it is real, you are entering into the Lilliputians’ country.
Tilt Shift Suburbia

Melbourne, Australia

All tall buildings optically turn into very trivia things.
Melbourne, Australia

Eiffel Tilt-Shift

Eiffel legs are yet huge but not gigantic as what it is.
Eiffel Tilt-Shift

Toy Kuala Lumpur

The bridge is so fragile now until looks like can break down with your fingers.
Toy Kuala Lumpur

Miniature Airport

It is amazing to capture the airport like miniature object with the tilt-shift lens.
Miniature Airport

Miniature train

Train is another awesome object to be a toy in tilt-shift photography.
Miniature train

Canal Grande

Bringing tilt-shift lens to travel is the greatest idea.
Canal Grande

Chinese Gardens

Despite the size, objects still keep their own feelings inside a photo.
Chinese Gardens

Nakayan’s tilt-shift

Observation in parallel with objects brings you closer to them.
Nakayan's tilt-shift

Fake-javik

Those houses are just so unbelievable to be real.
Fake-javik

maquette

People walking around the square are in the mini size when you are looking down from airplane.
maquette

School Walk

Tilt-shift photo can only focus on people, instead of the buildings or whole landscape.
School Walk

Football Miniature Tottenham – Manchester United

In fact, you still feel hard to distinguish whether it is tilt-shift photo or a miniature.
Football Miniature Tottenham - Manchester United

Polish tilt-shift

However, it is normal to have this kind of confusion for all kind of tilt-shift photos.
Polish tilt-shift

Southern Cross Station

You cannot tell the exact height of any objects in the photo.
Southern Cross Station

Tilt shift effect – traffic

Blurring some areas to focus on traffic is nice.
Tilt shift effect - traffic

Little game

Just as this, blurring can allow you to focus on the green field first.
Little game

Vatican Stairs

Besides, blurring can make people or other objects more unreal.
Vatican Stairs

Tilt-Shift GTM

Is it a racing car or just a toy?
Tilt-Shift GTM

Tikal Miniature

Temples can seize into miniature size in one click.
Tikal Miniature

Tilt shift effect – stadium

No matter how big the stadium is, miniature faking is so easy with tilt-shift lens.
Tilt shift effect - stadium

Harbour Bridge, Sydney

Only the water motion makes it nearer to real life but it is still a “miniature”.
Harbour Bridge, Sydney

Sanaa by night after tilt shift effect – Yemen

Using it in night times produces another atmosphere.
Sanaa by night after tilt shift effect - Yemen

Tilt-Shift – Stade de Marrakech

You have to pay a bit attention to look for people inside the photo.
Tilt-Shift - Stade de Marrakech

Artificial

Yes, it is so artificial but real too.
Artificial

You Can Tell

Till then, you should be able to tell more about tilt-shift photography.
You Can Tell

Cleveland Clinic Miniature

Notice that brighter color plays important role in tilt-shift photos.
Cleveland Clinic Miniature

Real models

Reflection can be incorporated to make the scene more fake.
Real models

biG miNiaTURe wOrLd

Tilt and shift is what you do to capture a good tilt-shift picture.
biG miNiaTURe wOrLd

Race start

The racing track seems as too fast to finish.
Race start

Tilt shift effect – London

Another angle to focus on people in tilt-shift photography.
Tilt shift effect - London

Heisson Bridge

Can you imagine how huge those objects are if shifting back to our eyes?
Heisson Bridge