Tilt-Shift photography and Lomography have for years had their own obsessive enthusiasts, but both have enjoyed a recent surge into the relative mainstream; Lomography over the course of the past few years and Tilt-Shift photography over the past few months. Both essentially represent a conscious regression in photograph quality at odds with rocketing mega pixel values in contemporary digital SLRs, in favour of more a more fun and stylised photographic approach.
Lomography, best illustrated at the Lomo fan website lomography.com, uses cameras based on very cheap Russian cameras from the 80’s to produce over-saturated colours, off-kilter exposure and out of focus shots. Lomo cameras will set you back at least £40 however, so I developed an action for Photoshop CS3 and above which will mimic the style of the Holga Lomo camera which you can grab from here. The above photo is an example of the kind of effect you can get from using the action, and for further excellent actual Lomo photos visit this Flickr photostream (it’s not mine.).
Tilt-Shift Photography has been around since the 1970s but until recently was primarily used in architectural photography to control perspective, and in landscape photography to get an entire scene sharp. Recently however it has experienced a resurgence among photographers due to its ability to make a normal photo or video look like a miniature model. The cost of a tilt-shift lens is wildly prohibitive for most though, and people have taken to faking tilt-shift photos, see this Flickr group for some fairly good examples. I put together a Photoshop action to imitate the Tilt-Shift style which you can get here (CS3+ only), it works best on landscape orientated images between 600-2000 px, any bigger and you’ll probably have to crop it slightly; you can see the result of the action in the photo above. Also check out some great Tilt-Shift videos here and here.
Ps. for instructions on how to install and use a Photoshop action go here.