I've always been a fan of tilt-shift photography but never been able to able to execute it in actuality because of the expense of a real tilt-shift lens or even a lensbaby. As with so many types of specialized visual art, it can be very cost prohibitive UNLESS you realize that you can skirt around the challenge if you only employ the wonder that is Photoshop.
This project idea is a bit of a back-pocket-shoot-from-the-hip type thing only because it's a bit of a quickie to do the rendering. I prefer doing projects that require at least a week's worth of class time but the tutorial (I used one found online) for the tilt-shifting can be done in less than a class period for two images at least. The biggest challenge for the students has been picking an image that would be able to be tilt-shifted well enough. I didn't require them to use their own images and instead allowed them to use third party sources with the understanding that the integrity of this project was more within the creative process than the finished product despite the fact that the product is indeed "very cool" to look at.
The students were required to complete two sets of images - one pair that is photographic in nature and the other pair that was of classic art media (painting, drawing, etc.) My goal with this project was to inspire such enthusiasm and enjoyment for the creative process alone that they would do more than the requirements for a grade. I'm happy to report that this indeed has happened and many of them have done almost as many as ten renderings already with lots more momentum to keep doing more.
Here are some of the most well-done tilt-shift renderings that have been turned in thus far. They aren't required to turn in all of their work until next Tuesday so I will try to post more student pieces next week. (Please note: I do not have the sources for these images and they are of third party sources. The students do not claim these images for their own and if one of them belongs to you, I am more than happy to credit you for the image or remove it from being published here. Thank you!)