40 Stunning Tilt-Shift Images of Urbanity

Tilt-shift photography involves using both tilt and shift camera movements to simulate the depth of field of a macro lens, making life-size objects appear as though they’re actually miniature in scale. The effect can be incredibly powerful, instantly turning a sprawling metropolis into a miniature village or toy town. Many people have been tricked by it over the years and you’ll have to inspect the stunning images below carefully to believe that they are, in fact, real.

While some photographers prefer to use expensive cameras and lenses to create their tilt-shift images, others choose to use postproduction techniques instead. By blurring the top and bottom of an image, as well as increasing its contrast and saturation, you can create a tilt-shift miniature fake that looks just as good (if not better) than the real thing.

Queensland- A Surfer’s Paradise

Image: Erik K Veland

1-surfers-paradise

Hilltop View of Bergen, Norway

Image: aha42

2-hilltop-bergen

A cluster of homes in Karori, Wellington, New Zealand

Image: wellurban

3-cluster-wellington

Mini London Skyline

Image: magnetstudio

4-mini-london

View of London’s Millennium Bridge from the top of St Paul’s Cathedral

Image: magnetstudio

5-london-millenium

London’s Shell Centre

Image: tiltshiftphotography.net

6-london-shell

Calvin College, Michigan

Image: michael baird

7-calvin-college

Football Game

Image: pattagon

8-football-game

Otaru Street, Japan

Image: .mushi_king

9-otaru-street

Baltimore Street Corner

Image: wumpiewoo

10-baltimore-street

Tate Modern, London

Image: jeangenie

11-tate-modern

Soccer Players

Image: m4r1usha

12-soccer-players

Christmas in Knoxville, Tennessee

Image: mechwolf42

13-christmas-knoxville

Nagoya Airport, Japan

Image: pattagon

14-nagoya-airport

Traffic in Thailand

Image: 27147

15-traffic-thailand

The Spoon Bridge in Minneapolis Sculpture Park

Image: someToast

16-spoon-bridge

Sydney Opera House

Image: hey tiffany!

17-sydney-opera

Steam Train

Image: aussiegall

18-steam-train

Car Show

Image: baldheretic

19-car-show

Oregon State Beavers

Image: Wikimedia

20-oregon-state-beavers

Southern Cross Station, Melbourne, Australia

Image: JAMESD Photography

21-southern-cross-station

Fairground

Image: spike55151

22-fairground

New York City

Image: .mushi_king

23-new-york-city

London’s Millennium Bridge on a Busy Day

Image: The Daily Telegraph

24-london-millennium-bridge

Key West, Florida

Image: curious oddities

25-key-west

The Bundestag in Berlin

Image: Thpx

26-bundestag

Train Station at Night

Image: JanneM

27-train-station

Sydney, Australia From Above

Image: Becky E

28-sydney

Miniature Manhattan

Image: Roger@elaws

29-manhattan

A Quiet Highway in Nagoya, Japan

Image: Guwashi999

31-quiet-highway

The ImaginOn Building in Charlotte, North Carolina

Image: Zevotron

31-imaginion-building

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Image: hey tiffany!

32-metropolitan-museum

Fake-Looking Houses

Image: Roger@elaws

33-fake-houses

The Square in Christchurch, New Zealand

Image: Joe_Focus

34-square-christchurch

A Little Market in Barcelona, Spain

Image: oseillo

35-little-market-barca

Gravina, Italy

Image: luigi scorcia

36-gravina

A Village in Greenland

Image: Dylan Bishop

37-village-greenland

Big Ben Captured From the London Eye

Image: Suviko

38-big-ben

View From the Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand

Image: Dirk Hartung

39-sky-tower

Market Street, San Francisco

Image: Reven.

40-market-street

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  • Join the discussion

    • April 23, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      Amazing job, bautifull and well done.

    • April 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      This pictures look great, they are very well done and its a very creative concep.

    • April 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      This is an incredible style of photography, this is the first time in my life I see something like this. Beutiful work.

    • March 16, 2011 at 7:29 am

      Fancy that.. spelling my business name wrong in the post above!

    • February 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Fancy that.. spelling my business name wrong in the post above!

    • February 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Hey guys, I use a Canon TSE-45mm Tilt-Shit Lens.

      My Southern Cross Station, Melbourne, Australia photo is featured above (thanks web guys!)

      Here is my entire set of tilt-shift photos on my Flickr…

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesdphotography/sets/72157613829910558/

      While it’s true you can create the effect using photoshop (and a valid technique at that).. there’s nothing better than doing it all ‘in lens’.

      The Canon range of tilt shift lenses are much more expensive that Lensbaby, but very much worth while.

      Using a Canon 5DMkII and any of the TSE lenses you can create some awesome video tilt-shift stuff too.

      Get creative!

      cheers
      james

    • October 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm

      Great use of the Tilt-Shift Photography Photoshop effect! These pictures are awesome!

    • September 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      the ones that work look amazing, and cheers to hypnotiza for the tips.

    • June 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      Impressive tilt shift images. Thanks for sharing the excellent photography.

    • June 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      Matt is exactly right. Most of these are great, but some, the London Bell Centre for example, doesn’t work.
      Optically it doesn’t make sense at all. If part of a light pole is in focus, the rest of it would be too.
      Cool collection of images though.

    • December 6, 2009 at 8:50 am

      Madurodam, anyone? :) Mini world in The Netherlands.

    • November 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm

      What an incredible style of photography, I have never seen anything like this before! Truly makes me want to pick up my camera and try this.

    • October 7, 2009 at 9:50 am

      I have to say this is quite amazing! I would more say stunning for some of these pictures. I think i’ll try that soon, I’ve seen many tutos about it but never found the time to try it. This is definitely a must try!

      Thanks,
      Max

    • October 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm

      Bravo, it’s veryImpressive !

    • October 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

      The vast majority of these are indeed produced with photoshop, not an actual tilt shift lens. I know mine (baltimore street corner) is!

    • September 28, 2009 at 9:38 pm

      It’s actually pretty easy to do in Photoshop. 1. Find the perfect image. 2. Activate quick mask mode 3. Select gradient tool, reflected gradient mode in black to white. 4. Drag gradient. 5. Go out of quick mask mode and two zones will be selected leaving the middle “clear.” 6. Filter/Blur/Lens Blur. 7. Adjust your blur and like magic you have a tilt shifted photograph.
      Hit the image with a couple of curves adjustment layers and cross process the image. It’s definitely a lot of fun to play with and a lot cheaper than using a Lensbaby.

    • September 26, 2009 at 4:55 am

      For those saying this is fake/photoshopped, have you ever -seen- a tilt-shift lens photograph before?
      This is what it looks like.

      Anyway, there are some absolutely stunning photographs in this, lovely work :)

    • September 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

      yep, the train one is totally photoshopped, and not very well.

    • September 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm

      Very interesting….I’ve never seen this effect used before….some are great…some not so great…overall its quite amazing

    • September 13, 2009 at 5:34 am

      Yes it would be cool to know how you got these effects

    • September 13, 2009 at 4:42 am

      I would like to know how to do this

      .

    • September 13, 2009 at 4:42 am

      The effect you created for me was quite unique. Thank you for sharing that experience. I find what you can do with digital imagary quite amazing.

    • September 12, 2009 at 9:33 pm

      Agree, some are great, some are terrible. I have a few here (same story ;)): http://www.jpgmag.com/stories/8191

    • September 10, 2009 at 9:31 am

      These are really cool.

    • September 10, 2009 at 5:27 am

      kool collection….gr8

    • September 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm

      Wow, awesome examples!

      Calvin College is right near here in Michigan.

    • September 9, 2009 at 11:53 am

      That is an incredible effect. I really thought they looked like miniature models. They are very well done and its a concept that is new to me.

    • September 9, 2009 at 10:35 am

      amazing images!

    • September 9, 2009 at 4:09 am

      The top few are exceptional images, i have to re-read the info at the top of the blog to double check that they were real images.

    • September 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      Some of these are good. Some are terrible, and clearly just someone using Photoshop to blur everything except a stripe through part of the image–without giving any thought to the optics of each situation and the reasons behind why the good ones work.

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