Challenge: Tilt-Shift – SOOC Or Shopped?

Here is a challenge for the sharp of eyes among you. Below you will find two tilt-shift photographs courtesy of Maciej Pietuszynski. Those are called tilt/shift or miniature effect photographs.

Challenge: Tilt-Shift - SOOC Or Shopped?

One of those photos is SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera). Maybe a little curves and minor crop, but it is basically as is. Maciej used his own Shower Head Tilt Shift lens to take it.

The other photo is Shopped (as in Photoshopped), with a method similar to the one in this tutorial.

So, which one is real and which one is fake? if the 512px across are not good enough for your peaking eyes, click the photos for a larger version.

Photo 1

Challenge: Tilt-shift - SOOC Or Shopped

Photo 2

Challenge: Tilt-shift - SOOC Or Shopped

  • Alex

    1 shopped, 2 real.
    On the left side of first photo, the shape of the iris is blured from the applied effect.
    On the left side of second photo, the shape of the iris is clearly visible.

  • mrstein2

    1 Shopped, 2 Real.

    The green domed building on the left is all the same distance and therefore should be all-or-nothing in focus. In the first, the spike on top is blurred and the base is blurred but not the middle.

  • PJ

    Agree with Alex: 1 is shopped. The transition from sharp to OoF is quite rapid, but then everything is uniformly blurred. In 2, the transition is slow, and things further away get progressively more blurry.

  • Vincent RAMPAL

    Photo 1 looks like the miniature effect of my camera… blur does not correspond to any focal plane (check the green dome at left), the blur is symetrical up and down (in reality focal plane is 2x longer behind than in front of) and the saturation has been enhanced to increase the miniature effect.

  • Voldemort

    Image 1 is PS, 2 is SOOC.

  • SAS17

    Photo 1 is shopped en photo 2 is not

    • AnalogMachine

      Yep! No Bokeh and too “harsh” In/out of focus transition

    • Andreas


  • Bhautik Joshi

    I _think_ that image 2 is the one taken with an actual T/S lens. Image 1 could be improved to be a bit closer to what is possible with a real lens – the blur area should have the highlights pushed a little, the tilt-plane should be along the ground plane and the blur area should use an elliptical blur kernel.
    I wrote a bit about this a few years back – some detailed info (and examples) here:

  • Ryan Farr

    The slight difference in perspective is where it’s easy to tell the difference, 2nd is with the t/s lens.

  • $23041497

    Really easy to tell in the full size.

    I love how the blur just abruptly ends in #1. One car is completely blurry, the next is completely in focus. The wall of the building in the distance is focused, but the roof (which actually should come more into the depth of field) is completely out of focus. Yeah, right.

  • Lucas Hoffmann

    1 Shopped, 2 SOOC.

  • NittWitt

    1 is PS, 2 is real. Look at the lampposts on the bridge. Same focal plane and in #1 they blur at the top.

  • Phillip

    1 is shopped and 2 is sooc. If the blurring effect on 1 is layered, meaning its like, sharp/focused, blurred, more blurred, and then more more blurred and so on, then it can come up as if it is made out of sooc. hehe

  • Anselmo

    The pictures are of Dublin. Looking down the Liffey to the mouth emptying out into Dublin bay (for anyone interested)

  • Zavie

    The first is shopped: the top of the lampposts on the bridge is blurry while the bottom is in focus.

  • Hoang Cao Nghia

    The first one is BADLY shopped.

    Proper way to do it in post: Masking to leave buildings in DOF intact, several layers of lens blur effect with pentagon bokeh at difference setting and one layer with round bokeh for smoother final look, adding large and light vignette and some final touch to make it look good.

    Yes, you will still able to detect that it was shopped, but it will not obvious, and it look NICE.

  • ComaC

    Picture 1 looks photoshoped. Elements at roughtly the same distance appear blured only sometimes. Picture 2… I’m not so sure it’s SOOC. It might just be better photoshopped.

  • Peter

    geees, I really don’t understand what is so fascinating about misusing one of the greatest lens types ever made.

  • Paolo Margutti

    Image 1 is PS, 2 is SOOC

  • adam

    Piece of cake to pick the shopped one (first) if you know anything about the technicals (vertical objects should be the same focus-ness top to bottom, much harder to achieve, often not even attempted in post).
    The important question is not if a photographer can spot the difference if they try. The important question is does it achieve the desired affect. I think its pretty close, but the total lack of cars or people on the bridge (in the first shot) means the effect is pretty much wasted.

  • Chris

    Photo 1 is shopped, photo 2 is the real deal 😀

  • arek

    both are photoshopped