March 1, 2008

Panoramas into Planets
Lima, Peru

Planet Manhattan

I stumbled across a really neat little photo manipulation technique today that's begging to be shared. You'll need Photoshop (or a free copy of GIMP), and a panorama photo (where the width is at least twice the height). Actually, if you feel like cropping down a normal photo into a panorama shape, that'll do as well.

The process is simple:

  1. Convert the photo into a square image. Use the Photo/Image Size menu item to change the image size into a large square. Uncheck 'Constrain Properties' and set the "height" value to the same value as your "width" value.
  2. Rotate 180°.
  3. Apply the polar effect. Navigate to "Filter/Distort/Polar Coordinates" and choose the "Rectangular to Polar" setting. If you are a user of The Gimp the command is "Filters/Distorts/Polar Coords".
  4. Rotate and clean up.

The Results Can Be Striking

Planet Südstadtpark Fürth

Planet Cowland

Planet Buenos Aires

Planet Maldives

The instructions above were lifted from Dirk Paessler's Photoblog tutorial, who seems to be quite popular in this arena (referring to the results as "Little Planets". Check out his Flickr photos tagged with this technique.

Happy Photoshopping—

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