The fabulous art of fake tilt-shifting
As a child, I visited the Miniature World Museum in Victoria, British Columbia where I remember being completely blown away by the fabulous sprawl of mini-scapes, a giant Gulliver in the land of Lilliput.
Over the last year or so I have seen more and more people posting their experiments with fake tilt-shift photography. The resulting images are just so cool, a great bit of brain trickery, imitating those mini worlds that I loved so much as a kid.
A great fake miniature photo of a resort in Key West, Florida by Bob Reck
True tilt-shifting was done on the old large format cameras where a “sweet spot” of focus could be created by moving the front glass element. With the amazing photo-manipulation programs available these days, a similar effect can be created using a variety of techniques including: distortion, blurring, contrast, hard shadows, color saturation and gradient map editing.
The goal is to simulate the effect of photographing a miniature; imitating the shallow depth of field usually encountered with macro lenses (which are used to shoot small stuff.) The result is a scene that seems much smaller than it actually is.
Check out this “doll house” kitchen by philipyk and gas station by John Ehmann
For a couple of Photoshop tutorials on faking miniatures check here and here.