30 Extraordinary Black & White Tilt-shift Photos

Tilt-shift is a powerful photographic technique used most often to make large objects appear miniature in size. The best tilt-shift photography can be achieved using expensive lenses, like the Canon TS-E 45mm f/2.8, which costs over $1,000, but there are cheaper alternatives for the more needy photographer. It’s possible to produce a tilt-shift ‘fake’ by blurring the outside of an image in Photoshop and increasing contrast and saturation. Online tools like imimux and freeware like GIMP can be used to much the same effect.

Sadly, with so many photographers competing to make their images the tiniest, few are looking beyond their preoccupation with miniaturisation to explore the other benefits of tilt-shift. Don’t get me wrong, tilt-shift miniatures are amazing, and I’ve included some brilliant examples below, but the technique is capable of so much more.

Black and white tilt-shift images, which are surprisingly uncommon, have a classic, vintage quality that can be truly stunning. You’ll find 30 of the best below!

Urban Landscapes

Tilt-shift photography is perfectly suited to capturing urban landscapes. Huge skyscrapers can be dwarfed to more manageable sizes and extra definition can be given to buildings that might otherwise be lost within vast cityscapes. The following photos have been captured around the world, from Hong Kong to Paris.

1. Paris

Image: monsieurlam

2. Chicago

Image: Christian & Cie

3. Shanghai

Image: Creeper-Sleeper

4. Hong Kong

Image: wenzday01

5. Chicago

Image: smaedli

6. Saigon

Image: Un rosarino en Vietnam

7. Market

Image: nrtphotos

8. Knoxville

Image: Chuck Johnson


Men love tiny vehicles - in fact, many never really grow out of Scalextric, Hornby trains, Micro Machines and Hot Wheels. This goes some way towards explaining the wealth of tilt-shift photos of vehicles out there. Some of the most interesting have been included below.

9. Sea Plane

Image: baldheretic

10. Digger

Image: nrtphotos

11. Car Park

Image: nrtphotos

12. Airport Monorail

Image: Click.Develop.Repeat Photography

13. Toy Truck

Image: Lawrence Whittemore

14. Train

Image: nono fara

15. Beach Life

Image: nrtphotos


The following batch of images clearly demonstrates the versatility of the tilt-shift method. While ‘610 @ Post Oak 1’ is a classic miniature, ‘Snowy Road’ looks like an image from a bygone era while ‘On The Move’ has a real cinematic flair.

16. Snowy Road

Image: nrtphotos

17. Snowy Road

Image: nrtphotos

18. Woodland Road

Image: nrtphotos

19. Manhattan Street

Image: joaquimb

20. 610 @ Post Oak 1

Image: baldheretic

Rural Landscape

Tilt-shift photography is dominated by images of urbanity, so it’s great to see some rural scenes too. ‘Greek Coastline’, below, is a particularly effective miniature and ‘Shifting Storm’ really captures the power of a dark, tumultuous sky.

21. Country Path

Image: nrtphotos

22. Shifting Storm

Image: stumayhew

23. Fence

Image: nrtphotos

24. Heritage Acres

Image: nrtphotos

25. Greek Coastline

Image: mtoynbee

26. Graveyard

Image: spondle


Making images of nature appear miniature can be difficult. Without a building or vehicle in shot, it’s hard for the viewer to get a sense of scale. For this reason, very few people use the tilt-shift method when photographing the natural world, which is a shame, considering how successful these images are, whether they look miniature or not.

27. Bedrock

Image: BAlvarius

28. Playas Valley, New Mexico

Image: BAlvarius

29. Free Flying

Image: Jesse Kruger

30. Flower

Image: Jim Blob Blann