A "faux" tilt shift lens tutorial...

Not sure why, but I am a big fan of the tilt shift lens "look".

Though it's the price that keeps me away from the real thing.

So here is a quick and easy tutorial on creating the "tilt shift look" in Photoshop.

Just one thing before we jump into the tutorial, the best shots for these are wide(r) angle shots from above. And of course the image I am using for the tutorial is neither.

This was an image I took during the "Occupy" protests and I really wanted the focus to be on the young lady and her sign.

So here we go:

1. Open up your image in Photoshop

2. The first thing is to duplicate your image by either dragging it to the "create a new layer" icon, or keyboard command Ctrl + J on a PC or CMD + J on a MAC

3. Then go to "Filters", "Blur", "Gaussian Blur" and set the Radius to (roughly) 10

4. Add a mask to the layer that you created (and blurred)

5. Set you foreground color to white and background color to black

6. With the mask you just created in step 5 selected, use the Marquee tool to select the area that you will want to be in focus

7. Fill that selected area with black (PC - Ctrl + Back-Space, Mac - CMD + Delete)

8. Then deselect (PC - Ctrl + D, Mac - CMD + D)

9. Keeping the mask selected you will then go to the "Masks" tab and adjust the feathering to make it a bit smoother (around 70)

10. Select your curves layer to add contrast by creating an "S" curve

11. Then back to the adjustments tab and select "Vibrance" and adjust to taste

And the finished product.

Keep in mind the numbers I used are not necessarily the ones that will work for you, but they are a good starting point. I would love to see what you come up with.


Procrastinator at Work said...

I too am cheap- sorry, frugal, so I must use the 'faux' tilt-shift look. Here's a sample from a friend's wedding last summer.


Miguel Palaviccini said...

Marco, that's a pretty neat idea for a wedding shot. Scott, thanks for sharing. I need to try this out on some photos! Also, I think CS6 might have a filter for this, but I'm not 100% positive on that. I don't have CS6 since my trial ran out, but can someone check?

Scott said...

Well done!

Dave said...

I've used that technique a few times as well...images to be uploaded to the flickr group soon :) And in the beta version of CS6 it did have the tilt/shift as a filter. I don't have CS6 either but looking at some of the video tutorial online, it did show them using it.

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Great tutorial. I'm a beginner in photoshop, good thing I learned something new.

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Beth Cook said...

I also have a tilt-shift tutorial on my web-site and I love to see how other people do theirs. Yours is a really great, easy way to get the tilt-shift look without spending the extra cash for the expensive lens. Great job! www.visual-anthology.com

Jodi Renshaw said...

Wonderful. Thank you for sharing this. I hope to post some pics to the group soon - after I try this.

Lynet Sandoval Witty said...

OH MY thank you so much for sharing this! I've always wanted an easy way and THIS IS IT.

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