This winter so far has been exceptionally sunny and yesterday was another one of these days so I ventured down to the quayside of Lymington Harbour. With two camera bodies, one with a wide lens and the other with a long lens, I spent some time just clicking away. There was zero wind so the only movement in the water was very faint ripples caused by the boats and birds etc.
I saw that you could actually make out the boats in the reflections off the water. So with this idea in mind I took some photos of the boats’ mirrored image. Back at home I tried a few things with HDR, B+W and invert.
Ever wanted an easy way to create the miniature effect on your photos? Well if you have Photoshop CS6 then you want to get the Tilt-Shift Blur Filter out. Before this was added to the line up of filters it was a much more painstaking and destructive process to this technique.
Images shot from above and looking down on the subject work best for miniaturisation but it is possible to be very creative with the Tilt-Shift filter. The lenses that it mimics are hugely expensive and consequently rarely used so this is a useful addition to the editing software.
Once you have your chosen image loaded into Photoshop then choose Filter>Blur>Tilt-Shift and you’ll be taken to the Blur Gallery with the Tilt-Shift section engaged:
The controls are fairly simple and self explanatory. You have ‘field lines’ that control the depth of field. Clever that isn’t it. Use these to spread out or concentrate the blur (or lack of it). It’s possible to change the angle of these lines but for miniaturising these downward perspective images you’ll want to keep them flat as this is how the depth of field would normally appear. You are trying to trick the mind so you need to present it with a plausible situation, only tweaked in a way that makes it think that it’s looking at something much smaller.
Don’t get carried away with the Blur control or you’ll end up with something that looks odd. Same with the Distortion. Once you have a blur that looks convincing you can add contrast or even saturation to make the image more manufactured, which a scale model of the scene would do.
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