The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Orbs -- I see this effect every now and then. Sometimes the it is really interesting. I never took the time to learn how to do it.

After looking at some awesome orb photos on Flickr -- I decided I would take a stab at it. OK -- so I have a lot of books on Elements (my choice of photo-editing software). I am sure in the books are instructions on how to do the orbs. But, since I am sitting at the computer -- I Googled.

I did not look far or long and found a quickie way to do them:

Square photos work best -- so choose something and crop it to a square. Then Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates>choose Polar to Rectangle, Image>Rotate>Flip Horizontal, Image>Rotate>Flip Vertical, Filters>Distort>Polar Coordinates>choose Rectangle to Polar -- and voila!

To give one a really interesting look -- then apply the Orton Effect. Way back in the blog I wrote about this -- you can search for the directions -- but hey -- I will put them here again.

Orton Effect:

Make a duplicate copy, make a second duplicate copy. One the second copy pull down the blending mode menu and choose 'screen.' Make a duplicate copy. Go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and choose a level that blurs but still shows shapes in the photo. (this is a very subject choice) Now go to the blending mode menu for this layer and choose 'mulitply.' You can choose the level of this effect for this layer by using the opacity slider. You can always use the opacity slider to manage the level of an effect.

The photo on this post was created from a square photo of pines. The photo was manipulated to keep the sky blue and the trees were in black and white. I created the orb and then applied the Orton Effect.

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