Today’s experiment is creating a microplanet. Here’s the Statue of Liberty on top of the world (glad that Photoshop knows more about polar coordinates than I remember from school)
The technique is very easy (using Photoshop’s polar distort filter) but getting something that looks decent is tough. The big issue is finding a type of photo that works for this technique. I don’t take too many broad landscape-type photos, so it took me a while to find one of mine that could work.
The starting photo needs to be much much wider than tall – either a panorama or a photo cropped to these dimensions (which is what I used). It is best to have something where the top is plain sky, and the bottom can read correctly after it is distorted – since it ends up as the center, it gets the most distortion. And I had to experiment several times to get the proportions of the top vs. bottom right – after polarization, the Statue of Liberty and buildings came out in different height/width dimensions depending on the ratio of top (sky) to bottom (water) that the starting photo had. The other issue is the seam – the image needs to have the horizon be exactly vertical, and more or less matching areas at either end so when it wraps the seam will not be too visible. I ended up being able to get it all pretty much okay except for a visible difference in the color of the sky at the seam, which I had to smudge/blur/clone until it was less obvious.