Creating Mini’s with Photoshop CS2
By: Steven Collins
A tilt-shift lens is normally used to get rid of converging lines and create straight lines in architectural photography, but the lens itself is expensive and the learning curve is rather steep. When the lens is used for other purposes it can create interesting illusions that look like models. Here’s a quick way to create those interesting images without that expensive lens.
**Tip – Start with a photo that is taken from an elevated position, the effect seems to be more pronounced when you’re done.**
Here’s the original image and the Gradient Tool shown by the arrow.
• Load your choice of images
• Press SHIFT+Q to enter quick mask mode
• Find the Gradient Tool
• Click the Reflected Gradient (along top menu bar, see screen shot below)
• Click and drag the mouse across the image (Once you let go, you’ll see that a portion of the image has been masked off in red. See below)
• Press SHIFT+Q to exit quick mask mode
This is a critical step. You will be masking off the portion of the image that will stay in focus in the next step. You may want to experiment with ways to mask off your image to create different effects.
Here’s the area masked off after using the Reflected Gradient (shown by arrow).
After you have exited the quick mask mode you’ll see the moving dashed lines.
Filter→Blur→Lens Blur and then you’ll see this pallet and a preview of your image.
This is the window you’ll see after you enter the Lens Blur filter. The only option I adjust here is the radius. An adjustment in the radius of between 50 and 80 is usually enough.
Click OK when finished and let Photoshop apply the action.
Since the whole idea of this miniaturization is to create a model-like scene I like to make adjustments that create an artificial look. This can be done with a couple simple steps using unsharp mask (USM) and saturation. Try slightly over sharpening and over saturating to create a model-like image.
After a little cropping here’s the final image.
[edit-poor phrasing. btw- Please let me know if you find typos or errors. I would be more than happy to go back and revise any mistakes.]