How To

Get the tiltshift look right from Adobe Lightroom

If you use Adobe Lightroom and want to apply a tiltshift effect to your photos, you can spend hundreds of dollars on expensive Photoshop plugins, or you can do it for free, with an Adobe AIR app called TiltShift.

If you’ve used TiltShift before, you know you can open any photo in it and apply tiltshift effects to it, but did you know you can do this right from Lightroom? Here’s how.

In Lightroom, open up the Export window and add a new Export Preset. See the screenshot below. I called mine TiltShift, so I can easily remember it. Adjust any of the settings, like color space, sizing, sharpening, etc. They don’t really matter, although it’s better to keep the image smaller so TiltShift can work faster with it.

The really important option is in the post-processing section — the very last one in the Export window. There, you’ve got to make sure you tell Lightroom to “Open [your photo] in Other Application…”, then click on the Choose button and browse to find the TiltShift app. This is pretty much it.


Lightroom will automatically pass your image to TiltShift, which will open it and allow you add tiltshift effects to it, to your liking. For example, I initially processed this image of a medieval water pump found on the streets of Medias, Romania, in Lightroom.

The old water fountain

Then I exported it into TiltShift using the export preset set up as described above, and adjusted the settings there to get the effect I wanted. This is how the controls and the image looked inside TiltShift.


Once I did that, I saved the photo and uploaded it here. This is how the final image looks.


It couldn’t be easier, and again, let me remind you TiltShift is a free app.

[TiltShift home page] [Download TiltShift]


Create tiltshift photographs on Mac, Windows and Linux, for free

Takayuki Fukatsu has created a free Adobe AIR app called TiltShift, which runs on any OS that supports AIR (namely Mac, Windows and Linux). It will allow you to easily apply tilt-shift effects to any photograph. Best of all, the price is right: it’s free. Even if this app cost $10 or $20, I’d still rather buy it than some Photoshop plugins that cost hundreds of dollars and do pretty much the same thing.

In less than a couple of minutes, I was able to open a photograph of my wife and niece, walking on the streets of Medias, Romania, and add tilt-shift effects to it. Here’s what it looks like now.

Ligia and Laura

Sure, the tiltshift effect isn’t what you’d get with a LensBaby or with a real tilt-shift lens like the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L (or any of the other professional tilt-shift lenses made by camera manufacturers), but still, it’s better than no effect at all, and it’s free. TiltShift’s controls are really slider-based and really easy to use. You’ll be making tiltshift photos in no time flat. Give it a go and see how you like it.


I mentioned TiltShift initially in one of my Condensed Knowledge posts, back in May.

[Download TiltShift]


Air quality in airplanes

It’s now been two days since I got back from my trip across the pond, and every time I blow my nose, my mucus is bloody. Sorry if I’m grossing you out, but I’m trying to make a valid point. The air in airplanes is too dry! Every time I fly for extended periods of time, my nose dries up so badly that it bleeds. I doubt I’m the only one with this problem, and I wish airlines addressed it already. It’s been well known for some time now. I remember reading an article years ago about how dry the air gets in planes, and what some airlines are doing. Well, I doubt much has been done since, because this problem still exists.

It seems that if the humidity is turned up, problems with damage to internal, structural components in the fuselage may occur. Also, fungus problems may occur in the plane. However, if I remember correctly, the impact of these two issues can be minimized, if not eliminated, through modern humidification systems and proper insulation of walls and crevices. Yes, it requires some retrofitting, but it’s worth it. Just think of the millions of travelers who have to deal with bloody noses every time they fly!


There's something in the air here in the States

I’ve been meaning to post an entry about this for some time. There has got to be something in the air or in the environment here in the States that’s causing people to have problems with their breathing, and flaring up their allergies. Case in point, Ligia and myself. Let me explain.

Ligia came to the States in 2004. She had no problems whatsoever (no allergies, no breathing problems) in Romania. As soon as she came to the States, she started having problems with pollen, clothes fuzz, and dust. She gets itchy eyes and she sneezes when she goes outside. The skin on her fingers gets cracked and rough when she handles old books or cleans the dust in our home. It’s not fun at all.

Me, I came to the States in 1991. Like Ligia, I had no allergies in Romania, which is a fairly polluted country – or at least used to be when I lived there. While my problems aren’t as serious as Ligia’s, my nose seems to be continually stuffy, and I’ve noticed my problems getting gradually worse over the past few years. Now, I’ve started sneezing from little bits of dust as well. All I need to do is to shake some clothes (even if they’ve just been washed) or pick up an old book, and off I go, sneezing. My skin gets like Ligia’s, cracked and dry, when I clean around our home, and it doesn’t make sense to me.

In 1999, I visited Rome. Out of the 3 weeks I spent there, the first week was taken up with breathing problems. My throat and nose burned, and I could only take short breaths. I understand the pollution is fairly bad there, but it’s nothing special compared to some cities in Romania – cities where I spent plenty of time as I grew up. It’s as if my body had been stripped of any protection against allergens, and I was at their mercy.

Now that I get to compare notes with Ligia on this, both of us have observed that there are a lot more kids here with asthma inhalers than in Romania. As a matter of fact, I never saw any there, and Ligia only saw a single person using an inhaler. Allergies are practically non-existent there, at least not to the level that they’re present here. When our friends in Romania complain that they’re sick, it’s usually with a cold, or the flu, or a headache. Here, allergies flare up, people can’t get out of their house… What’s up with this?

I tell you, there’s got to be something in the air here in the States, something that strips one of any protection against allergens. I’d love to hear what others have to say about this.