Faux Miniature shots, for C&C

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Gaerek, May 22, 2009.

  1. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    Here's a couple of shots I took the other day. These are mainly experiments. I wanted to see if I could get the faux miniature effect to look right. Any help appreciated.

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you think. Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Man, I love shots like that! I really need to learn how do to it. Did you use a lens baby or tilt/shift lens, or do it in Post? I think they're both pretty good. The first one I like alot, but I wish the church steeple wasn't in focus,. I feel like it's fighting with the road scene for attention. The other one is sort of the same thing. I don't know whether to look at the house of the people on the road. I like them though. Maybe just fine tune how you steer the viewers eye.
     
  3. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    these look good!
    especially the first one.

    one thing you may want to consider...
    if you look at most fake tilt-shift minis, a lot of times the saturation is bumped up to make the colors appear less natural, thereby adding to the 'fake' effect.
    maybe worth trying?

    nice job on these...i also wnat to get up high sometime and try these...we have a parking garage near my office that would offer the perfect vantage point of a clusterf&*% of an intersection below. (an intersection my company designed...badly...and i have to drive thru it everyday...loL)
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The effect is certianly working well, but it just seems alittle random in placement - I feel that for it to really work it has to centre around a point of focus/interest in the shot - in the first shot I just can't see any point of interest that its working with - the second shot is harder to assess (I think I just want ot see the bridge in small mode ;))
     
  5. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comments. :) Everything was done in post. It's actually a pretty easy effect to accomplish, just tuning it is the tough part. All you need is a reflective gradient mask, and gaussian blur (or lens blur) filter.

    I actually debated about the church steeple, and had decided to make it in focus, but the more I look at it, the more I like how I had it originally. The main reason I wanted the church in focus is simply because it's an icon of the town I live in. People who see it, who know what it is, know exactly where the shot is taken. I can probably soften the blur on the church a bit so you can still tell where the shot was taken, but it's not fighting for attention.
     
  6. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I actually hadn't thought of making the bridge the point of interest...back to photoshop I think!
     
  7. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    very good, i must learn how with PSE7, any help appreciated
     
  8. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :thumbup: I think you did really well with these because I thought I was looking at scenery on a model train platform. :D I've tried to go the other way, and get model train layouts to look like the real thing. I accomplished it once many years ago, but it was by total accident and I have no idea how I did it. :lol:
     
  9. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I use PSE7 also, so I can probably help you. You need to know how to do layer masks, and unfortunately, PSE7 doesn't do them natively. However, there is a trick to get them to work.

    First, make a new adjustment layer. Any adjustment layer will work, this is just part of the trick. Adjustment layers in PSE7 come with their own layer mask, and fortunately, you can use that mask with other layers as well. Next, make a copy of the background layer. On your layer palette, make sure the top layer is the copy, the middle layer is the adjustment layer, and bottom layer, of course is your background layer. Now, you need to link the adjustment layer with the copied layer. Do this by selecting the background layer and hitting ctrl-g. Now, apply the gaussian blur filter to the background layer. Your whole image will look blurred now. On your adjustment layer, select the white box. This is the layer mask. Make sure that on the white and black boxes under your toolbox, black is on top. Now go to the gradient tool. Pick reflective gradient, and experiment.

    You also have the pick the right image as well. It usually has to be from a higher elevation. Also, your subject can't be too close, or too far away. Experiement with it, and have fun.

    I'll post some new versions of my original shots when I get a chance. I have a new baby in the house, and she (and sleep) takes precedence over my photograpy right now. :)
     
  10. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so after taking some suggestions, here is what I have come up with. Some background, I'm entering a local photo contest, and I decided to experiment with this technique to give the judges something new and interesting to look at. They allow three entries, and I thought I'd pick one of these as one of the entries, just as something new and novel. The town I live in is photographed a lot (250,000 tourists on cruise ships arrive each summer) and these shots were taken from a location that is photographed a lot.

    The contest requires that photos come in the 4x5 format (they will be printed as 8x10) so I adjusted that. Anyway, let me know what you think.

    #1
    [​IMG]

    #2
    [​IMG]

    #3 (as suggested by Overread)
    [​IMG]

    Personally, I think #2 turned out the best. The buildings look like models I think. #1 just doesn't have the interest I think it needs. I think the effect looks really good, but it just looks too plain. I tried making the church the focus, but it lost a lot of the 'miniature' look to it. #3 looks decent, but I think it also loses a lot of the miniature look also.

    EDIT: After looking at 2 and 3, I think I need to get rid of some of the negative space in the sky. I realized I seriously broke the rule of thirds here, and it just doesn't look right. I need to move that horizon up a bit.
     
  11. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You should use pictures of Model Trains as an example.

    One thing to consider ... miniatures are lit by artificial light ... there is not real sky/sun.
     
  12. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    That goes without saying. :p

    I wasn't trying to completely mimic a miniature scene. I actually had two goals in mind with these photos. One, just an experiment to see if I could get it to work, and it did. Two, something that someone from town would think were interesting, and that has yet to be seen. The fact is, on these photos, your eye is immediately drawn to the in focus areas. The fact that there is sky is irrelevant to the effect. And to add to this, I've seen some pretty elaborate model train set ups that have their own backgrounds, and a single light source (to mimic the sun). The blurred areas of these photos could easily look like a painted or photographed background since you can't totally make them out.

    Thank you for your critique, though, it's how we all get better. I should have been a little more clear with my intentions in the photos.
     

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