Tilt-shift photographs are so lovely and I thought I would write a bit about them here. In a normal plane of focus only things at one distance from the camera are in focus while things in front and behind that plane are blurred. With a tilt-shift lens the focal plane is tilted so that various distances are in focus at once, and you can achieve a shallow depth of field using a large aperture. This effect can be useful in fixing the optical bend on straight lines etc., but it can also cause unique results.

The coolest effect of tilt-shift is making scenes appear as if they're miniatures (especially if they're aerial shots). For example the train and car-show photos are actual images where everything looks like toys.

Here are 3 ways of doing tilt-shift:

1. real tilt-shift
Use a tilt-shift lens (buy one or make your own).

2. in-camera faux-tilt-shift
Zoom in or out quickly while your shutter is open to fake the look of tilt shift as seen in the photo below (achieved by my magnificent brother Dan out of the train from Oxford).

3. faux-tilt-shift in post
Use photoshop in post to completely fake tilt-shift by dramatically blurring the top and bottom of an aerial photo while keeping one section (usually a strip through the center) in sharp focus. It also helps to brighten the saturation for a further toy-effect. Here is a before and after I made of a photo I took in Paris.

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