It was only last year, we think, that tiltshift photography really took off in the digital public. It caught on big and apps that purport to do this are many, but which of them are really up to the task and which make this fun photo process the easiest?
For starters, the effect only really works well when you have easily isolated subjects set in a scene with a long depth of field. This translates to mean that photos taken up close of a person are unlikely to yield very great results. It also means that pictures shot in under-optimal lighting conditions also tend not to render as well, as the backgrounds are already well out of focus. But with the right photo, the effects are something like magic.
Tilt-shift photography produces images that have a very sharp focus but also have a very shallow depth of field, making the landscape, buildings, and figures in the photo look like toy representations of their actual-size counterparts. To shoot genuine tilt-shift photos, you need a small- or medium-format camera with special lenses, and the image composition requires precise rotation of the lens parallel to the image plane and a proper orientation of the plane of focus--in other words, you need to be a professional photographer with some pretty pricey equipment.
Fortunately, it’s still possible for novice photographers to emulate this look on the cheap thanks to Photoshop. With the right source photo and the application of a few filters, you’ll be able to simulate the tilt-shift look, making cars look like Micro Machines and houses look like miniature-scale models made out of cardboard and toothpicks.