Macro lenses are an excellent part of photography getting in the detail on your miniature subject while blurring the less important areas around it. Macro lenses also are used in giving a model village a fuller effect. This is something we can also give the illusion on a much bigger scale! We are going to be taking a photo of a large city and give the effect of it as if it were toy sized in this tutorial!
Let’s Get Started!
First you’ll need to get an image of your choice. I will be using an image of a city to “minify”. Looks like a larger city in this scale.
Create a duplicate layer of the city. This will be your working layer.
While you have your working layer selected go into the Quick Mask Tool (Q). Now select your Gradient Tool (G). Once you are in your gradient tool create a vertical line starting in the area you want your focal point to be and blue out. Make sure you have the Reflected Gradient (4th option) and this will apply the gradient on the bottom as well. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you see a red bar streak across the image. This step is one that will take a few times to get the area you want to stay focused. Once you get the result you’re looking for get out of Quick Mask Mode (G).
Now that you have the focus area taken care of and out of Quick Mask Mode, it’s time to create a Lens Blur! Go into Filter->Blur->Lens Blur. This will create a new window for you with a few options. To check the result of the effect make sure to have your Preview checked. Make sure to Select Layer Mask in the Source box in the Depth Map. This step is a major step to play around with to get the right blur effect. This really does depend on your image.
So once you have the right blue for you now it’s time to clean up those edges! A quick way is to take your Eraser Tool and start removing the blur areas you want to make sharp again. In this case I want to get the high building tops as well as the building on the left side. I will use a very soft edge brush and just finesse the areas.
And you’re finished! A quick way to get your miniature effect. What pictures have you applied this to?