Cool Photoshop Trick: Making a Small Portion of the Photo in Focus

How do you turn a normal travel scene like this...

... Into a miniature train set, like this?

You can create a “miniature train set” look in your photos using a tilt-shift lens. That allows you to get a super-shallow depth of field -- meaning that only a very small portion of the photo is in focus.

However, tilt-shift lenses... well, they’re not cheap.

Luckily, it’s super easy to fake the tilt-shift look in Photoshop, by selecting the area you want to have in focus and using the “lens blur” filter to blur the rest. Takes about 3 minutes.

Before you do, it helps to use a photo that’s taken from far away, and of a scene viewed from above. I also bumped up the contrast a bit to give it more of a “fake” look.

Here are two others I played with while I was at it:

Delhi, India



Celebration in Agra, India



Part of the fun of photography is playing around and finding surprises along the way. Same thing goes for playing in Photoshop.

When you try a new trick like this one, you’ll find all kinds of new images you can work with that you didn’t think you’d be able to use. And who knows... maybe you’ll make one into a fine art piece you can hang and sell! Or maybe a stock agency would take one (provided it met all their specifications) for sale to manufacturers of jigsaw puzzles or kids’ toys. (You can read more about the best market for your photos here.)

Tomorrow I’ll share another easy and playful Photoshop trick that lets you borrow paint colors from famous paintings to spice up the color in your photographs!

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]