Smashing Magazine's 50 Beautiful Examples Of Tilt-Shift Photography is the definitive survey of photos and video from a Flickr pool and elsewhere.
The New York Times has had a few items too, including a talking slideshow by Vincent Laforet (see picture at left), who has already moved on famously to DSLR video using the Canon 5D MKII. Others posting a stream of items on the trend include Wired and Boing Boing.
There's also a number of articles on Faking tilt-shift with Photoshop (the real thing even with a Lensbaby is not cheap). The basic approach is simple and can be done easily in After Effect or Premiere:
- Select picture with somewhat elevated viewpoint
- Blur outside focal area with filters like Lens Blur or Compound Blur with mask or gradient (you'll need a soft touch on your gradient)
- Increase contrast & saturation, then maybe sharpen
- Adjust frame rate for a stop-motion look
- Tilt-Shift Photography Photoshop Tutorial
- Fake model photography
- Faking Tilt-Shift - a Tutorial for Realistic Miniaturised Photos
Update 01/06/09: Brian Maffitt adds a comment on the AE-List, "Trouble with a mask approach is that, while the blur looks good at the edge and the sharp area stays sharp, the intermediate blur is a cross-dissolved composite of blurred and non-blurred which looks "unnatural", especially at large blur amounts.
I prefer using the "Depth Map Layer" in Lens , which uses a separate gradient layer to modulate the blur effect based on pixel value. You'll have to fiddle a bit with focal distance and iris radius, but you can get a convincing Tilt-shift with this approach.
Compound Blur can do the same thing and renders more quickly, but without the ability to repeat edge pixels, and the blur is a slightly-less natural gaussian style, rather than the more accurate lens blur. If you use a ramp to create your gradient, make sure to precompose the effect or the blur filters won't see it."
In the same thread, Trish Meyer added a tip for changing the frame rate: "you'll render faster by putting the original movie in a precomp, lowering the frame rate, and turning on the Preserve Frame Frame option in Comp Settings Advanced."
Update 2: see Michael Vitti on selective focus in Comments.
Update 3: It seems like the tilt-shift photgraphy and tilt-shift-faking pages at Wikipedia have improved. Also, Keith Loutit has a Vimeo channel with some good examples that shouldn't be overlooked; below is Helpless: