As a photographer who has been shooting Tilt Shift photos for well over a decade I can tell you that this genre of photography is a lot of fun. Most people ask me how I do it or if I use a special lens to get the effect, these are the most asked questions. Well in this post I will let you know and give some insight into this technique. 


Tilt Shift London I, England UK



When I travel I always try and capture a few places to turn into a tilt shift photo. What that means is the way that I achieve the technique is not by using an actual tilt shift lens, it is by doing it in post production in Photoshop. My goal is to get to a position that is higher than what I want to shoot, literally looking down on the area. The image above, Tilt Shift London of the Thames, Big Ben and the bridge was taken from the London Eye. This perspective allows the image to capture people (you need people) so that when the image is completed the people look miniature.



Bullfighting in Madrid, Spain



Certain scenes give you options on how you want to get to the finished results of making the people look miniature, the tilt shift effect. For this image of bullfighting in Madrid, Spain I decided to wait until there were only the bull and the bullfighter in the ring so that the two would stand out so much because of the large bull fighting ring. Almost everything in the image is out of focus except the two in the ring. 



Tilt Shift Tokyo Street



One of my favorite tilt shift images is the one above of Shibuya street in Tokyo.  This is one of the most famous streets in the world because of its high density of people traffic and the way its multiple corners cross each other. The influx of people gives a photographer the opportunity to wait for the right moment to take their best shot. 

Here is a link to see other great tilt shift images that I too appreciate. It is from the Photo Argus...35 images.  


Tilt Shift NYC Marathon



Like I mentioned earlier I do not use a tilt shift lens as I work only in post production. The actual tilt shift lens is what is made specifically to have this effect happen but it is not only for this effect. The lens is amazing for real estate and architectural photography. What is does is straighten out lines of buildings. The lens physically tilts up and down and shifts from side to side. It is an expensive lens and not many companies make them. Here is a good article to understand how it works.                                    



Tilt Shift Super Paradise Beach Mykonos, Greece



For this shot of Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos I climbed up a hillside to get over the beach to see the beach chairs, the tide coming in and the beach goers. Like I mentioned before, you need to get to a higher point of view. For me that can mean a cliff, rooftop, helicopter, high rise, skyscraper or mountain top. Any of these situations work really well to get the tilt shift effect. Colorful images are something that I look for too. The brighter images work best for me and what I try and achieve. 



I always so to experiment as some images just work better than others. You may be somewhere and think this will be a great image and it winds up looking just alright but doesn't have the best results. These days Photoshop makes is so easy to work with. It is a filter in the software now but when I started years ago it took me about 6-7 moves to try and get a really good result. You have to love todays technology.


So if you want to get your own tilt shift photo you can do it. Don't forget to set the scene before hand and see in your mind what it will look like after you finish working on it in Photoshop. Keep searching for the right feel, the right scene and find the future in your present shot. Once you get the hang of it you will want to continue doing it until you master it. Good luck!