It’s a well known saying that the best camera you own is the one you have with you. More often than not these days, that will be the one in your phone.
Over the years cameras in phones have got better and better to the point where they can now do almost everything that conventional cameras can.
But there are a few exceptions. One of these is the ability to manage depth of field – to have some parts of a shot in focus and some not.
On our trip to Italy in 2014 I spent a day sightseeing around Syracuse and Ortygia with only my iPhone – a 4S. I’d actually forgotten to take my DSLR camera so the challenge was to get the best shots possible just using the phone. Overall the results were pretty good, but in a bunch of shots everything was in focus (the norm for phone cameras and not a bad thing) but the shots would have looked better if the foreground and background weren’t.
Retouching to the rescue. I used Photoshop to do the work but there are a bunch of other apps that can be used. In fact anything that can reproduce a “tilt shift” effect is ideal.
Tilt shift is a technique which makes a scene look like a miniature or model (an example is below). Not so many years ago this look could only be achieved using a special, and extremely expensive, camera lens. But with the advent of digital retouching it became much easier. It is also great for adding in depth of field to a shot where none exists.
I’ve included a couple of examples in the gallery.
Peaches and Pears – Ortygia market
Peaches and Pears after tilt shifting
Fish in Ortygia market
Fish in Ortygia market after tilt shifting
Positano beach in Autumn
Positano Beach in Autumn with a tilt/shift effect added
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