9309995091_fa9a94c7af_h Photo: AshtonPal/Flickr

Through the magic (or rather, technique) of tilt-shift photography, Canada’s largest cities can be transformed into tiny toy-like towns complete with miniature buildings, ant-sized pedestrians and cars that resemble Hot Wheels.

The unique type of trick photography involves both tilting and shifting a camera’s lens (hence its name) to create the illusion of a miniature.

Check out a collection of our favourite tilt-shift images from across Canada:

City Hall (Toronto, ON)

254666400_68957a672e_o Photo: Sam Javanrouh/Flickr

Nathan Phillips Square (Toronto, ON)

255394321_0cfd25f50c_b Photo: Sam Javanrouh/Flickr

By physically tilting the lens up or down at various angles, different elements of an image are brought into focus and the depth of field can be exaggerated to produce a miniature effect.

Old City Hall, (Toronto, ON)

265816581_4d7c013ae3_o Photo: Sam Javanrouh/Flickr

The technique of shifting the lens, either horizontally or vertically, is used when looking to minimize distortion accentuated from tilting.

Calgary, AB

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 9.25.26 AM Photo: Imgur

Nose Creek, (Calgary, AB)

3821533962_00afca0b5b_b Photo: Chad Gibson/Flickr

Traditionally captured with speciality lenses, tilt-shift photos can also be “faked” through Photoshop (above) and a handful of smartphone applications.

Tilt-shift photography has spawned other unique forms of miniature faking imagery including Smallgantics, a new cinematography technique that is essentially tilt-shift photography in motion.

Habitat 67 (Montreal, QC)

14403249316_f3f723a346_h Photo: Flickr

This photo is unique in that incorporates multiple tilt-shift frames in a single shot.

Olympic Park (Montreal, QC)

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 10.43.12 AM Photo: Imgur

A tilt-shift lens for your run-of-the-mill SLR camera costs around $2,000.

Sun Tower Building (Vancouver, BC)


Photo: Thomas Hellberg/Flickr

Vancouver, BC

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.04.19 AM

Photo: Ckinbc/Imgur

Primarily shot in and around Granville Island, Miniature Vancouver was filmed by Hollywood writer and director Tony Leech.

Despite having been around since the early times of photography, the tilt shift technique has really only recently captured the public’s imagination, thanks in large part to the work of Olivio Barbieri. The prolific Italian photographer and filmmaker has used tilt-shift to snap awe-inspiring shots of the world’s urban environments. Check out some works in his impressive portfolio here and here!

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