Alison posted an article earlier Cityshrinker City Packs featuring work by Melbourne photographer Ben Thompson, where his images gave the impression they were in miniature/model format. This is also known as Tilt Shift Photography.
Below is a Photoshop tutorial on how to create the same effect with your own images.
1. Begin by choosing your image. I’ve chosen a city skyline.
2. Quick Mask and Gradient Tool
We need to initially work in Quick Mask Mode, do this by selecting the Quick Mask icon at the bottom of the Tool Palette. Then select the Gradient Tool. Make sure you have selected the Reflected Gradient option (fourth icon at the top).
3. Quick Mask and Gradient Tool
With the Gradient tool selected draw a vertical line, starting from the centre of image where it will be “in focus” and drag it to where the image will start to be “out of focus.” When you release your mouse, a red gradient will appear over the top of your image.
Be warned when trying to Quick Mask your image in the “right” spot, it can be a massive “pain in the arse”, in trying to get it in the right position. You’ll see what I mean.
4. Once you are happy with the mask you’ve made, you will need to go back to Standard Mode. To do this, click on the Quick Mask icon again at the bottom of the Tools Palette. The red gradient should disappear and leaving a rectangular selection box.
5. Then go to Lens Blur to blur the image. Go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur
6. Here you can begin experimenting with how much you want to blur your image.
Once you’re done and happy with the result, click the Ok button.
I’m not done yet. While I like the result, I still want to play with colours to give it a miniature feel, by making it brighter and saturated.
With your layer selected, in the Layers Palette, click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the palette (4th one) and choose Hue/Saturation. Alternatively go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Now play around with the Hue, Saturation and Lightness.
You’re done. Here’s some other examples.
Original images courtesy of RGB Stock.