Simulated tilt-shift using Photoshop Elements

Tilt-shift is a very popular technique to capture photos of great scenes and create an impression of them being miniature or to have a single place of the scene in focus while the other parts of the same photo is totally out of focus. In this tutorial I will show you how to achieve the first goal, making a photo of something big appear very small. I will use Photoshop Elements 8 but this will also work in older version as well as in CS.

Update: There is an updated guide for Photoshop CC too!

This is the effect what we will create:
Final result

And this is the original photo:

Step 1

Open the photo in Photoshop Elements
Open the file

Step 2

Duplicate the ‘Background’-layer by pressing ctrl + j (or cmd + j on mac). Apply blur on this newly created layer by selecting it in ‘Layers’ and then go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur. A value of about 8 should do.
Add blur

Step 3

Duplicate the ‘Background’-layer onve more by selecting it in ‘Layers’ and by pressing ctrl + j. In this newly created layer, make a selection using the Lasso-tool (the Lasso-tool can be selected by pressing ‘L’) of the area which you want to be in focus.
Make selection

Step 4

Choose Select -> ‘Feather’ and your selection. A value of about 150 will do.

Step 5

Create a new layer using your selection by pressing ctrl + j again. Move the newly created layer to the top of the layers and the effect is achieved!

Step 6 (optional)

To further create the impression of a miniature photo you can flatten the layers and then create a new adjustment-layer where you increase the saturation to make it more synthetic looking.

Now you know how to simulate the tilt-shift!

Published by

Martin Karlsson

I am a hobby photographer always trying to improve my technique!

26 thoughts on “Simulated tilt-shift using Photoshop Elements”

  1. An excellent tutorial. It’s the first one I’ve followed that has worked for me. Many thanks.

  2. For those having a similar problem in Elements 7 (as I did), in step 5 you need to create the new layer by right clicking on the lasso and feathered selection and use New Layer via Copy, then move that new layer to the very top.

  3. I just started using this new app called fhotoroom hdr and compared to it, this is truly a painful poor way of doing it which is why i looked for something better (E7 user). Also for a good miniature tilt shift result it should be radius size that changes not the intensity of it.

  4. Pingback: Tilt-Shift

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *