Friday, October 28, 2016

2016 PhotoChallenge Week 43: Little Planets

Over the past 2 years now, I've been taking part in the weekly photo challenges.  The goal of these challenges is to get people taking pictures every week, gain inspiration, and to try new techniques.  I've done pretty well keeping up (except those portrait challenges) and have tried a lot of new things.  In these blog posts I'm going to post my response to this week's challenge, as well as some of my older pictures that fit the criteria... Oh, and feel free to take part, this is a free and open challenge for all budding photographers!

Week 43: Little Planets

This week's challenge was a cool one.  Take a panoramic photo and manipulate it into a little planet.  There were some phone apps that did this, but I tried it out in Photoshop.  I actually didn't get a chance to go out this past week to take a good picture for it, so I used some older shots to practice the technique.

The steps:

1)Either take a panoramic shot or crop a landscape into a panoramic shape.  Ideally there should be some empty sky since it will be easier to meld together in the final product, but clouds can be cool too.

2) Change the size of the shot to a square (use the same height and width dimension) which will oddly elongate everything and look crazy.  Make sure to uncheck the constrain dimensions box or chain icon or this won't work.

3) Flip the shop upside down.

4) Use the Filter-->Distort-->Polar Coordinates to turn this into a circle.

5) The hardest part: Do your best to blend, clone stamp, and healing brush the edges and line where the photo touches upon itself.

An option that is a little more difficult has you copy and flip the photo so you get a mirror image on each side of the shot--this makes it line up well on the final product but does duplicate the resulting photo so it can look odd.  I did this with the below shots since my edges were not lining up well.

Sunrise!  I like this shot a lot and the silhouette makes it easier to blend the middle.  You can tell this was duplicated, which I don't love, but the other method left a huge line in the center that was near impossible to blend due to the complicated cloud patterns.  In a blue sky shot the odd streaking at the 4 corners is minimal and easy to blend away.

Wind.  This one was an odd long shutter speed shot I did last fall during some high wind.  To get this outside-in look all I did was skip step #3 above and this was the result.  I like the duplicated cloud pattern that looks like a dragonfly!  I wish the original had had less tree movement so only the foreground was blurred.

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