The visually stunning field of tilt-shift photography became a fairly big thing in the Web a couple of years ago. It uses a special lens that gives a real-world scene the illusion of being a miniature model. You've probably seen examples by now, but if not then see the "Credits" page for links to some breathtaking examples.
The effect can be simulated in Photoshop, by adjusting a photograph's contrast, colour saturation and depth of focus. It works quite well with regular photographs, so we decided to try it using paintings to see what would happen, and it turns out that the works of Vincent van Gogh in particular make excellent subjects for this kind of treatment. Following is a slideshow of 16 awesome photomanipulations based on some of van Gogh's most moving and powerful paintings. To see the original paintings unaltered, go to the "Credits" page.
To reiterate: Nothing in any of these paintings been added or removed or had its proportions changed. The effect is achieved simply by manipulating the light in the scene and adjusting the areas of the image that are more and less in focus, as you will see.
This is all being done in fun, so don't take it too seriously. But having said that, we're pretty sure you will discover several paintings you've never seen before, and stumble across some previously unnoticed details in the works you think you know well. Enjoy!
(Suggested listening: Vincent by Don McLean)
Added July 18, 2010