Faking It With Style – Enhancing Your Images With TiltShiftMaker

Jim Henderson 26-07-2010

<firstimage=”//” />enhancing imagesThe idea behind tilt-shift is to make your photographs of real life-sized objects look like photographs of models.


No, not supermodels. That’s a whole different subject. TitlShiftmaker makes this easy, and the results are great.

You can buy lenses for big cameras that do this stuff properly, but most of us will never find the money, justify the expense, or learn to operate the equipment. Get your tilt-shift fix here instead.

Where does this fit?

We’ve covered many image enhancement options before, from the simple to the ludicrously complex. This is a simple site with a simple aim, and it doesn’t claim to replace either real tilt-shift lenses or the customisable effects from packages like Photoshop. But enhancing images with it is easy, quick, fun, and the results look very cool.

So if you want to have some fun with your existing images and see what you can do, here it is.


Getting your images into TiltShiftMaker

The front page of the site provides everything you need. You can upload images from your local computer, or from the web. Local files work just the way you might expect.

enhance images

Browse to the image you want to play with, and hit the upload button.

Take note of the maximums. No more than 6000 pixels on the long side, and no more than 8MB in size. And if you happen to be working with RAW files, remember to convert to JPG first.


enhance images

Web uploads are just as easy. Browse to an image, click the button. Now let’s do something with it.

Making changes

We need an example, so let’s start with a default conversion from this:

enhance images


TiltShiftMaker presents you with a set of options. By default, it’s going to come out like this, but let’s work through the settings:

enhance images online

enhance images online

A real tilt-shift lens is moved out of line with the normal path of the light through the camera, and as a result tends to end up with a very small depth of field (the part of the photo that is in focus). Adjusting the focus on the lens moves that band back and forth, and lets you choose the small part of the image that is sharply in focus.


enhancing images

On the website, moving the slider up and down has the same effect, and allows us to get the child in focus, while blurring the rest of the image. You can adjust the effect further with the Focus size slider, making the band as narrow as makes sense to you.

Hit the Preview button to get an idea of what you might be doing.

The last option in this section, Enhance colors, is an example of something that improves on the real world capability. You’d struggle to do this with an actual lens. Go for it. I won’t tell.

enhance images online

Now that you’re experienced”¦

There are some advanced settings you can use to make your image pop.

Faking It With Style - Enhancing Your Images With TiltShiftMaker advanced

The first setting, Defocus strength, determines how much the blurry part of the image is blurred. For some images, it doesn’t take much.

Defocus gradient sets the rate with which you slide from in to out of focus.

The last option, Enhance bokeh, might just require some explanation. Bokeh is a Japanese term relating to the way in which the out of focus background is blurred. This all gets deep really fast, but the short version is that the shapes that the background is made up of depends on the construction of the adjustable aperture on the lens. See what I mean?

In any case, the slider performs some magic in the background to make the bokeh look better. Your mileage will decidedly depend.

And from here?

Once you have the image you want, you can click on the Get full size button to save a copy locally, and then you can upload it to your favourite web location.

Faking It With Style - Enhancing Your Images With TiltShiftMaker full

There are some places you might like to take a look at, to see what people have been doing. People who are a whole lot better at this than me. Firstly, check the gallery at the site. Then move on over to flickr, and finally take a look in the group at Photobucket.

enhancing images

We’ve covered a number of other photo-enhancement options in the past. You might also like to take a look at these.

A similar capability is available at TiltShift Generator. You can rescue some of your images at FocusMagic How to Focus and Sharpen Blurry Photos and Movies Out-of-focus photos are becoming increasingly popular, but putting those tacky Instagram filters aside, blurry photos and videos are usually an annoyance. Thankfully, it turns out there are dedicated programs to fix them. Read More , and remove red eye here. Varun talked about a stack of enhancement sites in this list 10 Sites To Add Amazing Effects To Your Photos In years gone by, you had to be a skilled Photoshop user if you wanted to add amazing effects to your photographs. Not anymore, just check out these 10 great web apps. Read More .

That’s it. I’d love to know how you go, any other techniques you find useful, and perhaps some links to your results. Let me know in the comments.

Image credit: clarkmaxwell

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  1. Black Friday Deals
    September 9, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Wow! having this one is pretty awesome. It would enhance all your nicely captured moments more meaningful and pretty.

  2. timmyjohnboy
    August 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    You say this saves time but I find myself all of a sudden sifting through all my photos looking for the ones I want to tiltshift. Hmm. Thanks for the cool tut!

    • Jim Henderson
      August 13, 2010 at 5:58 am

      Oh, what? This is the Interweb, buddy. :-)

  3. Nuberbc
    July 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Does anybody know a good way to create a batch of TiltShifts? I have about 6000 sequential photos from a timelapse and I would like to try tilt shifting them all. Obviously a free way is what I am looking for. Windows or Linux doesn't matter.

    • Jim Henderson
      July 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

      I can't help with that one. Anyone got anything?

  4. IshootPeople
    July 27, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Did it in Photoshop earlier, but this site is great if you wanna make it real quick

    • Jim Henderson
      July 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

      Yeah, I think that's the classic trade-off. Give up some power, but gain a whole lot of spare time!

  5. Gardner Roger
    July 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    i have used tilt-shift for years. it works great

    • Jim Henderson
      July 27, 2010 at 5:13 am

      Good to hear!