Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tilt & Shift Those Scenic Pics!

Summer is pretty much here which means for many it is vacation time! Of course, as a scrapbooker practically every moment will be a photo-op.  But what happens when we get home only to realize that we have taken a few too many shots of that amazing view?  Sadly, very few scenery shots actually capture the magic of the moment.

Here is my solution for turning an average picture from my vacation last year into something special.  I applied a tilt & shift treatment (or faux-miniature look) to the image.  By giving the illusion of a shallow depth of field the ship looks like a miniature model as opposed to a photo of an actual real-life docked ship.  Here is a quick step by step of how I did it....

Step 1: Select a picture and open it in Photoshop.  Landscape and scenic images work very well for this technique.

Step 2: Convert the work surface to "Edit In Quick Mask" mode. (Press the letter "Q" or click the icon below.  It is usually found at the bottom of the tool bar.)
Step 3: Select the gradient tool.

Step 4: Be sure you have the "Reflected Gradient" option selected.

Step 5: Draw a vertical line over the area that you want to be in focus.  You will see a red hue over that area.  Keep trying until you have the section highlighted in red that works for you.

Step 6: Convert back to the "Standard Mode" (See Step. 2)
Step 7: You will notice that a portion of your photo will be selected with "marching ants."  Click the filters menu and select "Blur > Lens Blur"

Step 8: Adjust the "Radius" and other settings until you have the look you want. Click "OK"
Step 9: Deselect the selection  (Ctrl+D)
Step 10: Increase the saturation (Ctrl+U) to give the image a toyish look.

That's it! You are done.

For my image I added an overlay for a "negative/slide" feel and some simple journaling.  Give it a try, and let us know how your image turns out!

Just as a comparison here is my original image...


  1. Fantastic tip. TFS! I have a few vacation photos I may need to use this technique on.

  2. Great tip & love the step by step instructions!



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