Tilt-shift photography is a technique whereby figures or objects are made to appear miniature through the manipulation of the lens. If done very well, the life-size objects or subjects will appear like miniature scale models. Although it is a technique that skilled photographers accomplish using their cameras, you can also mimic it with photo editing software, such as Gimp or Adobe PhotoShop.
In the fast-pace, social media infused society that many of us live, it would be nice to be able to apply such photo effects on the fly, directly on our digital image capturing devices (i.e. pocket cameras and mobile phones).
TiltShift Generator is an Adobe Air applications that allows users to manipulate their photos directly on their mobile devices, whether their devices are netbooks, laptosp, or mobile phones. Because it is an Adobe Air app, it will work on any device that can run Adobe Air. Furthermore, it is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch in Apple’s App Store for $0.99.
TiltShift Generator comes with a handful of options, namely:
- Choice between radial and linear blur
- Adjustment of the center radius, either using the slider or clicking the white circle on the image
- Color adjustments, including saturation, contrast, and brightness
- Vignetting, which makes the image darker around the periphery
- JPEG quality, which you can adjust to reduce file size, if necessary
All of this combines to give what the project’s website describes as retro miniature pictures. You can import pictures directly from the camera, manipulate them to your taste, and then post them to Facebook, Twitter, or email. As it is generally considered a mobile app, the base resolution is 800px. On my desktop, it gave warnings about images sizes that were larger, but with my more powerful processors, I was able to edit them with little trouble.
In addition to the downloadable versions, TiltShift Generator is also available on the web through artandmobile.com’s site, making use of the Adobe Flash plugin in your web browser. The Flash version functions very well, without any noticeable decrease in speed or functionality.
The product is available for free from artandmobile.com, but I saw no indication of what type of license the software is distributed under or if it can be redistributed. It takes only seconds to install the Adobe Air version and is simple enough to be easily controlled with a mouse or finger, depending on your device.
It takes a little practice to get it the way you want it, and not having a photographer’s eye myself, please forgive my examples. Once you do get the hang of it, however, it is enjoyable and easy to use.
Below are two examples:
The original Taj Mahal picture is available at Wikipedia. My TiltShift edit makes use of linear blur and dark vignetting.
This picture of a street corner in Granada is available at Wikipedia as well. This TiltShift edit uses radial blur, light vignetting, slightly increased contrast, and intense color saturation.
If you would like to learn more about tilt shift and see 50 better examples than mine, visit smashingmagazine.com.