Tilt and shift or tilt-shifting is an advanced photography movement that has generated a lot of interest in amateur photographers and photography enthusiasts. Tilt-shifting produces an area of selective focus with a strong depth of field and the images that result look like miniatures. If you’re unfamiliar with the term or the type of photos that tilt-shifting produces, I’d advise you to check out its entry in Wikipedia as well as the tilt-shift enthusiast group on Flickr.
Strictly speaking, tilt-shift photography requires a dSLR camera and a very expensive, specialised lens designed for the purpose of tilt-shifting. Nowadays though, the effect is easily simulated by mobile photography apps and desktop image editors. One such application for Mac is called Focus, a tilt-shift generator and it’s really easy to use.
This week, we’ll be giving away 5 free copies of Focus for Mac but first, a walkthrough.
Tilt-shift generator for Mac
Focus actually adds depth and lens blur to your photos. It can also be used as a tilt-shift maker. It’s available from the Mac App Store for $4.99. After purchasing, downloading and installing Focus (which is a one-click process in the Mac App Store, by the way), launch the app. As with all Mac apps, its user interface is extremely simple. Just click and drag a photo into the app to start getting creative with the tilt and shift effect.
Focus immediately teaches you how to use it. It’s really simple.
Focus comes with 5 mode presets that are arranged by the type of subject in the image: Portrait, Nature, Architecture, Macro and Tilt & Shift. A control panel slides in from the right, providing you with options to adjust the amount of lens blur to apply. Hover your mouse cursor over the image and several lines appear — they indicate the plane of focus. Adjust the width and angle according to your image to achieve your desired effect. The lines will vary depending on the mode you’re currently working with.
In Tilt & Shift mode, you’re able to adjust the vividness/saturation in addition to the amount of lens blur. Increasing the saturation allows for a more exaggerated miniature, tilt and shift effect and is certainly apt for this image.
Here’s the final image with the tilt and shift effect applied. From a relatively boring photo of Hong Kong city, we’ve used this tilt-shift generator to create something exciting, vibrant and intriguing.
Focus allows you to save the image in its proprietary format if you’d like to work on it some more. Otherwise, it also provides the export function to several image types.
For anyone interested in tilt-shifting and is looking for an easier way to add the tilt and shift effect, Focus can potentially shorten your workflow and allow you to explore your creativity. Get it from the Mac App Store for just $4.99.
We’ve got 5 free copies of Focus for Mac to give away this week!
Here’s how you can be in the running to win one for yourself.
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This giveaway begins now and ends on Friday, October 14th at 2100hrs ACST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.
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