A while ago, my friends Earl and Tony turned me on to tilt shift, which is a photographic trick to make your image appear as though it was a picture of a miniature model diorama.
The tilt-shift process was traditionally accomplished by playing with camera angle and focus. Generally, the camera has to be mounted high off the ground for this to work.
It's easy to simulate tilt shift in Photoshop. There are plug-ins and apps that will do this for you automatically, but it's simple to do by hand as well. The key is a photograph with good composition and subject matter.
I'm not suggesting that this photo is the best tilt shift ever, but the Port Coquitlam rail yard seen from above is to me suggestive of a truly grand toy train set. Once you have something picked out, carefully crop out anything that would not look like it belongs in a diorama.
Use Photoshop's Levels to create the proper lighting, which should be fairly even (or use Auto-Levels). Then adjust the sharpness of the image so that it is ultra-crisp (I prefer the Unsharp Mask filter, or an inverted High Pass, but you can just use the Sharpen control).
Next use either Curves or the Saturation control to make the colours as bright as possible without looking pixellated.
Then, create a rectangular selection that goes right across the middle of the image. The rectangle should maybe as tall as one-fifth the image height or so. Feather the selection a lot (200 pixels if you are working from a photo direct from your camera). Invert the selection. Then use Gaussian Blur to create the blurry areas at the top and bottom of the image.
There you go! With maybe a few small adjustments, you can create the illusion that your picture is of a tabletop model.