Tips and Tricks for Tilt-Shift Timelapse Videos

If you’ve ever wanted to make your subjects look small–like, miniature-toy small–you may have investigated buying a tilt-shift lens for more than $2,500. But there are cheaper options. This video gives a host of helpful tips for achieving an awesome tilt-shift style using a normal DSLR lens:

California-based timelapse photographer Ryan Killackey gives the following tips:

  • Shoot downward from a high angle.
  • Don’t include at anything that couldn’t be replicated as a toy, e.g. the sun. Focus on cars, people, and trains.
  • Switch your lens to manual focus and flip off the image stabilization.
  • Instead of relying on an intervalometer, manually press the shutter release on your remote shutter cable and try to create a rhythm yourself.

“Toys move sporadically and with jitter, and we need to mimic that in our time-lapse. So that’s where an incredibly inaccurate remote shutter-release comes in.”


Nix the auto setting and release your shutter manually for a more realistic time-lapse.


Omit anything from the frame that could not be replicated in miniature.

Killackey’s video is remarkable to watch; you’d swear he was shooting model trains roll by. The ultimate effect is an inexpensive and very cool video technique that still feels fresh.

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One response to “Tips and Tricks for Tilt-Shift Timelapse Videos”

  1. Shaun says:

    Thanks for this! I love the miniature effect and am eager to try in videos.


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