Creating a Quick n’ Easy Fake Tilt-Shift Photo with Gimp

One of the reasons I haven’t been posting lately is I’ve been going through our holiday photos. I’ve just created my first fake tilt-shift photo with the aid of Gimp!

Tilt-shift of Donna at Priests Jump, Cork, Ireland

There are lots of tutorials on the internet, but some seem to be outdated or missing steps leaving me to suss out the commands. It’s not the most brilliant I’ve seen but for an amateur I’m suitably happy with it. This is how I did it:

  1. Open up photo in Gimp
  2. Click on the Toggle Quick Mask icon (bottom left corner of image window) or press Shift+Q
  3. Select Blend Tool from the toolbox
  4. Select Gradient FG to BG (RGB)
  5. Select Shape: Bi-Linear
  6. Choose your focal point (the part you want miniaturised – usually the centre)
  7. Click and drag vertically from your focal point
  8. Uncheck the Quick Mask which should leave a selected rectangle around the focal point
  9. Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur
  10. I used a pixel radius of 40 on this image, mileage may vary so experiment

    In this photo I had a rock in the foreground that got caught in the focal point so I had to do a little extra editing:

  11. Before step 9, go to Select > Invert
  12. Now you have the selection box around the focal point, click on one of the selection tools (I used the ellipse)
  13. Hold down the Ctrl key and drag/click the selection tool over the part you need to exclude
  14. Once you let go, the selection rectangle around the focal point should have merged with your selection
  15. Go to Select > Invert again
  16. Continue with Step 9 above

If you want to know more about the Tilt-Shift method itself, then some of the other tutorials go into more detail. Wikipedia has an informative article.