A recent client requested the use of a very specialized lens, the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L tilt-shift lens. As this lens costs $4,000 and I am a Nikon shooter, I used the very easy to use borrowlenses.com to rent both that lens and a Canon 5D Mark III body. I rented them for three days so before I had to ship that gear back, I had a chance to roam the rooftops of a couple of parking garages in downtown St. Petersburg to make some of the miniature looking shots you can do with a tilt-shift lens.
A tilt-shift lens is actually a rather tricky piece of gear to use. A couple of things to know about them: 1.) manual focus only 2.) the meter does not work while tilted or shifted
A tilt-shift lens allows you to photograph buildings without them looking like they are tipping over. If you tilt the lens opposite of that purpose, however, especially when shooting from high up, then the subjects look tiny.
The whole lens itself rotates on the camera mounting, so you can tilt the lens not just up and down but also side-to-side. This allows creating vertical DoF as seen in the above shot with a strip alone the lines of the seawall being the only part of the photograph in focus.