Orbs — the easy way…

A little while ago, I promised a tutorial on how to make orbs in Photoshop.

If you arrived at my blog from Toad Hollow’s 88 Amazing Photography Links… on Lightstalking, WELCOME! I’m very glad to have you. I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Feel free to stay awhile and check out some of my other posts on photography. If you like what you see, you may want to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any posts.

And without further ado, the tutorial…

Start by selecting an image and cropping it to a square. Say, like this.

Screen shot 1

Now, make sure your image is in 8 bits per channel, not 16, or the rest won’t work. You can check this by going into Image > Mode.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.01.51 AM

The next step is to go into Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.15 AM

Click on Polar to Rectangular and OK.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.29 AM

The result.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.35 AM

Then you’ll want to flip your image vertically by going Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Vertical.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.42 AM

The result.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.46 AM

Then go back to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates…

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.53 AM

Only, this time, click on Rectangular to Polar and OK.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.02.59 AM

And there you have it! Easy peasy, right?

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 10.03.04 AM

Now you can apply whatever other effects or textures you want to tweak the image or you can frame the image…

Play to your heart’s content.

Have fun with this technique, and if you feel like it, share your images with me in the comments, and I’ll post some on my blog.


Bokeh ball

20 thoughts on “Orbs — the easy way…

  1. I think you can do it in Elements from what I’ve heard. It doesn’t take long, really, and you can make some amazing looking designs. Thanks for coming over…

  2. Thank you for doing a tutorial on this Sherry. I’m actually going to see if I can do this with PSElements 8. I really love working in PS but it hurts so much that I do it very seldom these days, but this looks so darn intriguing I have to give it a try!! Thanks bunches.

  3. Pingback: 88 Amazing Photography Links That You Won’t Want to Miss | Oxford School of Photography

  4. Fun! I’m going to try that in a few days. I have PSE but I know I have all those options. It’s very similar to the making your own planet thing.

  5. Pingback: 88 Amazing Photography Links That You Won't Want to Miss

  6. I learned to do these several weeks ago and have had so much fun with them. Sometimes it’s interesting to apply some artistic techniques – blend modes, textures, etc. – both before and after. There’s a lot you can do with these.

    I love the two soft ones at the bottom of the post the best. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this… I have wondered how to do these and thanks to your post, I am about to give it a go…. thank you thank you thank you…. Debbie (Australia)

  8. Such fun images, Sherry. I see you do them on Photoshop which I don’t have! However, I enjoy looking at the effects you achieve through editing.

Let's connect...I love to read your thoughts...thanks for visiting!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s