Do You Recognize These Famous Places in Tilt Shift Photos?


Tilt Shift photography is an increasingly popular pastime among people looking for original shots of overdone subjects. While tilt shift gives real subjects a quality that makes them look more like scale models than real places, the popularity of the technique is growing and growing. The thing is, sometimes it can be difficult to recognise real places when they have been rendered in tilt shift photos. That’s why we thought we would test you!

Of course, as usual, if you would like to know how to emulate tilt shift photos like these, look for our resources section at the end of the post which will take you to some great tilt shift tutorials on the web.

Let’s see how many of these real places you can name! Let us know your score in the comments.

Tilt Shift Tower Bridge by matstace.

Photo by Matstace.

Big Ben Tilt-shift by Suviko.

Photo by Suviko.

Canal Grande by ~jjjohn~.

Photo by Suviko.

Photo by Kevin.

Photo by Karl Randay.

Little Hong Kong by wenzday01.

Photo by Wenzday01.

Tiny Salzburg 2

Photo by Umqua.

Florence Miniature 2 by Grahamtastic.

Photo by Grahamtastic.

mini santorini 1... by EnKayTee.

Photo by EnKayTee.

Golden Gate Bridge Tilt Shift by cogdogblog.

Photo by Cogdogblog.

Photo by Adrian Lafond.

So here are the answers:

  1. Tower Bridge
  2. Big Ben
  3. The Grand Canal
  4. The Alhambra
  5. Hoover Dam
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Salzburg Cathedral
  8. Florence
  9. Santorini
  10. Golden Gate Bridge
  11. Machu Picchu

How many did you get right?

Tilt Shift Photography Tutorials

  • Tilt Shift Tutorial and Showcase – the guys from SmashandPeas always have great photography articles and this one is our pick of the bunch. A great introduction.
  • Video Tilt Shift Photoshop Tutorial – just as the title suggests, this useful little video tutorial will have you understanding tilt shift in no time. Great if you learn better from seeing rather than reading.
  • How to Fake Miniature Scenes – a good little guide and some great discussion in the comments.
  • Faking Tilt Shift – another solid guide from photographer, Martin Pot (a blog worth adding to your feed reader, BTW)

Bonus Tilt Shift Resource:

Tilt Shift Maker – This awesome little site lets you upload your photos from your computer and converts them to look like tilt shift shots. This site will really suck away a lot of your time!

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

I got some of them right (I don’t know all the locations, and hence didn’t have a chance of getting them all!).

You’ve pulled together a great collection of tilt-shift photos – some very good examples in that list.

(And btw, thanks for the linkage)

@Martin – thanks for stopping by. And if you keep writing such great content, we’ll keep sending the links you way. 😉

@kurakensama That’s a pretty strong statement without any explanation to back it up – perhaps you could explain to the rest of us why, in your opinion, the effect is “wrong”- is it because the effect is vertical rather than the more usual horizontal?

I would agree that it’s wrong in the sense of the image has the distortion found when using that particular lens at 10mm and angling the camera up or down slightly, but other than that, I@m pretty happy with the shot 😉

About the first shot…

I don’t know if it’s ‘wrong’ or right, but its definitely not a good photo. Even for gimmicky tilt shift. The compositon is horrible, and the tilt shift only makes it worse.
It looks to me like a careless tourist shot that is also extremely out of focus.

I’ll agree with kurakensama. Just like with HDR only a few manage to pull it off using software only while retaining the intended technique.

If you want to try this out yourself using software keep in mind that all parts of the area you want to keep un-shifted needs to be at the same distance from you. Or mask out what you want to keep and do the shifting on a separate layer.

Nr 1, 5 and 10 uses wrong composition, or could benefit from a layered shift using a mask. They work initially for the first glance but your brain will see through it when both close and distant parts are in focus.

Nr 2 and 7 uses tall buildings that keep in focus for their entire height while the areas surrounding them stay shifted. My guess would be they’re using proper equipment, or advanced techniques.

Leave a Reply

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