How to get your own tilt-shift lense for free
Today I found a review and a link to Arax tilt-shift lense. I got quite inspired by the focus plane shifts, and got inspired to experiment a bit myself with the effect.
So I fired up Photoshop CS2, and played a bit around with the Lens Blur effect, to try and get the same effect. I found that using gradients, you can achieve a very similar effect, using layer masks for depth indication. Linear gradients let you get a tilt-shift look, and circular gradient gives you kind of a lensbaby effect, where only the center is in focus.
You can also play with offsetting the point of focus, so it isn't completely in one end of the gradient.
Here are some "proof-of-concept". They are exaggerated a bit, and were mostly just for fun.