tilt shift effect

Tilt-shift pictures look really neat, but tilt-shift lens are very expensive. Fortunately, Photoshop allows us to achieve this tilt shift effect quite well with just a couple of adjustment layers and Lens Blur.

 tilt shift effect

You’ll need:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS
  • A picture taken from above or an angle. I used the picture of London Bridge shown below.

Step 1

Open your picture.

 tilt shift effect london bridge

Step 2

Enter the Quick Mask Mode by pressing Q. Now, select the Gradient Tool and make sure black and white are set as the foreground and background colors. Select Reflected Gradient as the type of gradient and then start selecting the area you want in focus. Everything inside the red gradient will be in focus and everything else will be blurred.

 tilt shift effect gradient tool

Step 3

After selecting the area, exit the Quick Mask Mode by pressing Q. Now, the red area will become selected, showing you where the focus point will be.

tilt shift effect selection

Step 4

Now, we’ll apply Lens Blur. Go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur and you can play around with the settings till you get the desired effect, but the default settings will work too. After applying Lens Blur, deselect the selection by pressing Ctrl+D.

 tilt shift effect lens blur

Step 5

Finally, we’ll create a few adjustment layers to complete the effect. Go to Image > Adjustments and create a Curves, Hue/Saturation, Exposure and Brightness/Contrast layers with the settings shown below.

 tilt shift effect adjustment layer

And we’re done!

 tilt shift effect