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


Hilltop View of Bergen, Norway

Image: aha42


A cluster of homes in Karori, Wellington, New Zealand

Image: wellurban


Mini London Skyline

Image: magnetstudio


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

Image: magnetstudio


London’s Shell Centre

Image: tiltshiftphotography.net


Calvin College, Michigan

Image: michael baird


Football Game

Image: pattagon


Otaru Street, Japan

Image: .mushi_king


Baltimore Street Corner

Image: wumpiewoo


Tate Modern, London

Image: jeangenie


Soccer Players

Image: m4r1usha


Christmas in Knoxville, Tennessee

Image: mechwolf42


Nagoya Airport, Japan

Image: pattagon


Traffic in Thailand

Image: 27147


The Spoon Bridge in Minneapolis Sculpture Park

Image: someToast


Sydney Opera House

Image: hey tiffany!


Steam Train

Image: aussiegall


Car Show

Image: baldheretic


Oregon State Beavers

Image: Wikimedia


Southern Cross Station, Melbourne, Australia

Image: JAMESD Photography



Image: spike55151


New York City

Image: .mushi_king


London’s Millennium Bridge on a Busy Day

Image: The Daily Telegraph


Key West, Florida

Image: curious oddities


The Bundestag in Berlin

Image: Thpx


Train Station at Night

Image: JanneM


Sydney, Australia From Above

Image: Becky E


Miniature Manhattan

Image: Roger@elaws


A Quiet Highway in Nagoya, Japan

Image: Guwashi999


The ImaginOn Building in Charlotte, North Carolina

Image: Zevotron


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Image: hey tiffany!


Fake-Looking Houses

Image: Roger@elaws


The Square in Christchurch, New Zealand

Image: Joe_Focus


A Little Market in Barcelona, Spain

Image: oseillo


Gravina, Italy

Image: luigi scorcia


A Village in Greenland

Image: Dylan Bishop


Big Ben Captured From the London Eye

Image: Suviko


View From the Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand

Image: Dirk Hartung


Market Street, San Francisco

Image: Reven.


  • Matt

    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.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Victoria Web

    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.

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  • http://twitter.com/French_Blast French Blast

    amazing images!

  • http://www.logoblog.org/ Nora Reed

    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.

  • http://www.vagrantradio.com Jason

    Wow, awesome examples!

    Calvin College is right near here in Michigan.

  • http://www.itsselvam.com Selvam

    kool collection….gr8

  • http://www.jonathanpatterson.com Jonathan Patterson

    These are really cool.

  • John

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

  • http://www.B2B247.net Chris Jacques

    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.

  • DaMan

    I would like to know how to do this


  • http://www.B2B247.net Chris Jacques

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

  • charlotte zimmerman

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

  • http://brettmaxwellphoto.com brett maxwell

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

  • http://www.katepayton.com Kate

    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 :)

  • http://hypnotiza.com hypnotiza

    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.

  • http://jeffreydmartin.com Jeff

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

  • http://grippe-a-h1n1.over-blog.com H1N1

    Bravo, it’s veryImpressive !

  • http://pressphoto.free.fr Pressphoto

    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!


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  • http://www.nextdayflyers.com/ Offset Printing Company

    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.

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  • http://www.jayaugust.com Jay August

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

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  • Joe

    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.

  • http://www.tbsfactoring.com/ Truck Factoring

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

  • http://www.smoothboothdesign.com/ Printed T-Shirts

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

  • http://p0ker.ro poker online

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

  • http://www.jamesdphotography.com.au JAMESD Phoography

    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…


    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!


  • http://www.jamesdphotography.com.au JAMESD Photography

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

  • geroge

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

  • http://nopierdasucasa.blogspot.com No pierda su casa

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

  • http://comoganardinerorapido.posterous.com Ganar dinero rapido

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

  • http://como-ganardinero.tumblr.com Como ganar dinero

    Amazing job, bautifull and well done.