Tilt shift photography makes a real life scene a miniature scene that looks like it is made up with toys, and it is achieved by narrowing the DoF. And, a light field camera captures a scene as everything in focus. So thus can't we turn a miniature scene into a something like a real life scene?

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    \$\begingroup\$ For avoidance of doubt, tilt-shift doesn't narrow the DoF - it just makes the focal plane no longer parallel with the sensor; the DoF is (at least to a first order approximation) unchanged. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 8:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think what you are really asking is "Can a miniature scene be created with a DOF that is more akin to the DOF ratio of a real scene to make it look more real?" If so, the technique to employ would be focus stacking. So yes, a light field camera probably could be used for that, but I don't think it would have quite the same effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeD
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MikeD your comment should be an answer to the question, rather than a comment. Plese see: Short answers as comments — please resist the urge. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


The effect you are describing isn't really narrowed depth of field, but rather a plane of focus not parallel to the sensor. This is often done in macro photography to increase the amount of the actual subject which is in focus — it's hard to get deep depth of field in macro, because you can only stop down the aperture so far. And, yes, you can do a similar tilted plane of focus with lightfield photography. From Lytro's blog:

Leveraging the light ray path information we know where those rays would have been even if the lens settings had been different; focus and aperture for example or artistic lens distortions, or even the angle of the sensor for a virtual tilt/shift mechanism.

But I'm not quite sure what you mean by "reversing" the effect. Can you take a photograph from a tilt/shift lens and turn it into a lightfield? No. But, can you take a macro photograph with a lightfield camera with infinite depth of field instead of choosing a tilt-shift effect? Sure!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm asking if an image of toys (a miniature scene) took from a light field camera, can that image be turned to a scene that is closed to a real life scenery? \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 10:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ p.s.:- (in this case) Can't we replace the process done by a light field camera just by focus stacking \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 10:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user152435 this sounds like an interesting new question. Please don't ask me questions in comments. They are very hard to find and might get deleted at any point in time. If you want a comparison between the images made with focus stacking and light field technology, then please ask in a new separate question (and not a comment) \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @null I did mentioned '(in this case)' in the second comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 15:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user152435 If you have the lightfield data (and within the practical limitations of the actual camera rather than a theoretical one), yes, I am exactly saying that you can mimic whatever optical properties you like, in order to avoid any distinct signs of close-focus macro photography. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 16:08

No, you can not "reverse" a photo of a real life scene with the "effect" or you can not "reverse" the blurryness of one single macro photo.

But the question seems to be if you can have everything on focus on a miniature photo, then the answer is focus stacking, where you take several photos, changing the focus distance and then combining the images either with specialized software like Helicon Focus. Here are some options: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_stacking#Software or doing it by hand masking zones in Photoshop.

You need to take the photos with a tripod. Some lenses can have some "breething", this is sometimes changing the focus also change a bit the focal length.

But there is another part of your question

turn a miniature scene into a something like a real life scene

This depends on other thing: perspective. You need to have the proper perspective to have this.

This was made all the time in cinema. If your camera is too bulky you probably can use a mirror to shoot from a diferent angle.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you please clarify more about the perspective? And here, I asked the question considering a light field camera. So, without focus stacking, can't someone take a single photo with such a camera and deepen the DoF in post? \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 2:26

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