40 Awesome Examples of Tilt-Shift Photography

By / Dec 22, 2009 / Inspiration

Tilt-shift photography refers to giving the subject of a photo a miniature look or toy-like appearance. This affect can either be achieved with a special camera lens and other shooting techniques, or it can be done in post processing with applications like Photoshop. There are a number of tilt-shift tutorials available that will show you how to achieve this effect on your own, but in this article we’re going to inspire you. Here are 40 awesome examples of tilt-shift photography.

Clicking on the images will take you to where we found them, and will allow you to see a larger version and learn more about the photographers.

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About the Author

Henry Jones is a web developer, designer, and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience. He is the founder of WDL and ThemeTrust.

  • http://brendanwenzel.net/firstcommenter/ Brendan Wenzel

    Wow, that’s amazing what can be done with a camera and some photoshop work. Most those don’t even look real. I especially like the soccer picture.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelemberson/ Joel

    Amazing collection – The ones that work best seem to be the ones that are the most exaggerated!

    • http://www.kolour.com Belkiss Obadia

      Agreed!! It’s absolutely brilliant!! Love it.

  • http://www.bwired.com.au Steve Martin

    Wow these tilt-shift photography are awesome and they really look like toys… I loved all the images above and very impressed with this technique…

  • http://www.sergiodesigntrends.com/ Sérgio Soares

    awesome effect with a simple technique.
    the playground is the best for me!

  • http://www.digitalcomplexion.com Judd Dunagan

    Sweet! This gave me so many ideas. Great post I am going to check out the tuts.
    Thanks,
    Judd

  • http://twitter.com/LuPereira_ Luís Pereira

    I saw the images before reading the article and I thought it was LEGO’s or toys photos. The effect was achieved! Great examples and fantastic technique 😉

  • http://smashingwebs.com/ SmashingWebs.com

    Nice Collection. Really enjoyed :)

  • http://blog.bullseyecreative.net/ Rick

    Crazy! I was just thinking to myself this weekend I hadn’t seen a recent feature anywhere on tilt-shift and thought I’d sit down and have some fun by doing one of my own ( http://extranoise.deviantart.com/art/Tilt-Shift-Lodge-147319691 ) on Saturday. Timely!

    It’s really great that you guys provided so many awesome examples I hadn’t seen before. Thank you! These were fantastic.

  • http://www.arvinbautista.com Arvin Bautista

    Eh, I am extremely sensitive to the difference between real tilt-shift and tilt-shift done in photoshop, and I must say most of these were done in Photoshop without perfect attention paid to detail…

    the biggest telltale sign is that in real tilt-shift, really bright areas would really blow-out when it goes out of focus compared to non bright areas. If they don’t, such as the traffic lights in #3, it clearly means it was a normal photo edited in photoshop.

    There are definitely steps to make it look better than that with just PS, but I don’t think people should just assume they just need to do a blur on the edges for it to work.

    • http://www.lampstandcreative.com Aaron Blakeley

      @Arvin if Photoshoping it is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

    • http://www.baldheretic.com Jay Lee

      @arvin Is it your goal to be a total buzzkill just before Christmas? Lighten up!

      • Arvin bautista

        I’m sorry but I wouldn’t put a photoshopped image of a dragon and call it a stunning example of nature photography, even if the image was compiled from actual photos of lizards. Nor would I consider a photo with an impressionist filter on it a stunning feature if landscape painting. No matter how good it is.

        Call this a stunning collection of tilt shift style photography but don’t pass it off as the real thing when the only thing that makes it that style was a Photoshop edit.

  • http://www.efactormedia.com Morgan Graham

    Thanks for giving me a smiling face this morning! Love it!

  • http://www.bebop-ad.com BebopDesigner

    Brilliant collection! Thanks for sharing

  • http://designinformer.com Design Informer

    Tilt-shift photography is so awesome. I do agree with Arvin though. Most of these were done in Photoshop.

  • Robin Q.

    I thought the tilt-shift fad was over. I can’t believe that “designers” is still following this trend! What happen to creativity? What happened to pushing the boundaries of design and art to create something new? Where can you use this photography style in a design sense?

  • http://www.mlwebco.com ML Web Consulting

    Wow, some of these are amazing. ML

  • http://www.printedbyerik.com Erik Shultz

    Amazing. Personal goal for 2010: Learn how to do this!

  • http://www.kaplang.com/blog Michelle

    its amazing what can be done with a camera, it takes a true photographer to snap up the photos that no one else would ever think about taking. Thanks for sharing

  • Trevor

    Not sure I agree with the definition of TS photography. It’s not only about miniaturisation – there are some *REAL* architectural purposes to TS lenses too.

    But these examples above are mighty fine!! Tx for sharing

  • http://www.stevezphotography.com Steve Z

    The problem with this article, is that it implies that making things look miniature is the only possibility, goal, and outcome of the tilt shift lens.

    Every example, is of the same thing. Get up high, and align the focal plane with only a small portion of the photo.

    This is a simplistic and basic approach to the lens, and is the core of the impression that the lens is a ‘fad’. Articles like this further this view, by offering only a limited view of what the lens can accomplish in the hands of an experienced user.

    Many awesome tilt shift image do not appear tilt shift at all to the casual viewer, as they align compositional elements at varying distances from the camera. Only an experienced photographer would recognize the impossible DOF. Furthermore, this only uses the tilt capacity, not the shift capability.

    So really the article should be called, “40 awesome examples of a tilt shift lens making things look miniature”

    • denise

      thank you Steve Z!! my thoughts exactly. there is more to tilt-shift than making things look like miniatures/toys. not to take away from these examples – they are cool – just not the be-all and end-all

  • http://www.webrecurso.com Carlos Luna

    Wow, awesome, i love that effect, i looks unreal…

  • http://www.geminigrafix.net Gemini Grafix

    These are amazing!

  • Ellen

    WOW!!
    you’re photo’s are AMAZING!!
    i hope that you have some more!!

    love

  • http://www.visualabandon.blogspot.com Dave

    I’ve seen this done before, but could never quite figure out the technique, let alone figure out what it was called. Thanks for the insight!

  • Mariah

    Wow.. this is amazing!

  • Anderson

    So amazing. I love it!!

  • http://www.a-a-photography.com angie wood

    Cool examples of Tilt/Shift.

  • http://www.georgehausler.com George Hausler

    These photos are truly amazing! At first I though some of them were actual miniatures! They are that good! I’d like to know whats going on in our brains that we get fooled into thinking the images are tiny. These are very well done!

  • http://www.raynamcginnisphotography.com Rayna McGinnis {Boulder Wedding Photography}

    Very cool. I enjoyed them all!