by Gary / 0 comments - Orginally published:21st August 2016

A step-by-step guide

This technique is performed in Adobe Photoshop CC (2015.5) and is relatively straightforward.

Step 1

The tricky piece is selecting the right image to start with. Ideally, you need an elevated viewpoint, as if looking down on a model village or diorama. So a shot from a Ferris wheel, or a hike up a tower, anywhere you look down upon a subject. Aerial photography will allow you to capture images that suit this effect. The one thing to be aware of is the sky and clouds. An image with clouds doesn’t work, really.

In my example, I have picked a shot taken with a DSLR; however, it will work perfectly well with an image captured on a smartphone or compact camera.

So once you select your image, and here’s mine, we are good to go.

The selected imaged before processing
The shot before processing

Step 2

Open Photoshop and load your image.

Step 2.1

I always work with layers, so I start by duplicating the background layer with a CTRL-J on my PC.

This will create Layer 1.

Duplicate Layer
Duplicate the layer

Step 2.2

On Layer 1 you will need to apply a filter. That filter will be the tilt-shift... from the blur gallery.
The select Tilt-Shift filter option
Select Tilt-Shift filter
Reposition the focal point to the focal point of your scene; in this case, it is the house. You can change the bands to alter the periphery blurring as appropriate to get the desired effect for your image, then click okay.
Reposition tilt-shift position
Reposition tilt-shift position

Step 2.3

Duplicate your Layer 1, and you will end up with Layer 1 copy. With our filtered image, we are going to apply two adjustment layers.
Firstly, one to adjust the contrast, I prefer the curves tool to perform this.

Add Curves dialogue
Add Curves

In my example, we have dragged the bottom left point to meet the histogram and then just selected a point on the left of the line and pulled that down. A further point near the centre of the histogram is also selected and returned to the line.

We have created a very shallow ‘S’ curve in this example.

Curves dialogue
Curves dialogue
The second adjustment layer will be to adjust the vibrancy & saturation.
Vibrance menu layer selection
Vibrance menu layer selection
You will want to increase both values; in my example, I have increased the vibrance by 50 and the saturation by 20. Start with these values and adjust as necessary.
Vibrance menu selection
Vibrance menu selection

Now you can stop here.

But I like to sharpen the image. If you want to give that a try, then follow me…

Step 2.4

There are many ways to sharpen your image, Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask etc. Just check out the options under Filter -> Sharpen. However, my choice is to use the High Pass filter.

So I start with creating another layer. Either Layer 1 or it’s copy will be fine. Take this duplicated layer and drag it to the top of the stack (it will appear to have undone the adjustments – don’t worry about that just yet.)

Then select the High Pass Filter from under the Filters-> Other -> High Pass.

High Pass Overlay menu
High Pass Overlay menu
You will now be presented with grey, lots of it. In my example, I have used 2.4 pixels, but again start with that and see how you get on.
High Pass Overlay option
High Pass Overlay option
Now you may be wondering what’s happened to your image. Well, now we need to adjust the layer blending option. We are interested in three choices: Overlay, Soft light & Hard light. I have chosen Overlay, but again try the options to see what works best for you.
Select High Pass Overlay option
Select High Pass Overlay option
Now we can call it a day, and you can save your image – you have just miniaturised somewhere.
The selected imaged after processing
The tilt and shift effect - complete.
Well done.

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