Polar Panorama Showcase And Tutorial

Polar Panorama Showcase And Tutorial

A ‘Polar’ Panorama is a panoramic photo that has been ‘rolled’ 360 degrees to make a small planet type effect.  It is quite a simple process (once you have the right photo!)

Creating Polar Panorama’s is quite a simple process once you have the photo (its the photo that can be the tricky bit!).  I have taken a look at numerous tutorials around the web and this process proves to give the best results.

By mpolla

By mpolla

 

Your photo should meet (or come close to) the following requirements to get the best effect;

  1. The two ends of the photo should be a close match as these will be stitched together in the post processing.
  2. Your photo width should be at least two times the height, the wider the photo the better.
  3. The top 1/4 or so of the photo should contain little detail as this will be the surround of the finished ‘planet’.  Sky works well.
  4. In order to get the ‘planet’ centre effect the bottom 1/4 of the photo should be of a similar texture and not contain too much (if any) detail.
  5. I find that a mixture of buildings and trees gives a nice effect (urban and rural areas for your planet) however this is down to you and not required.
  6. The photo must be completely level (check the horizon against your ‘rule of thirds’ grid on your camera).  If the photo is not level then there will be a gap in the planet!
By Mario Groleau photo

By Mario Groleau photo

Once you have a photo that complies (or comes close to complying) with the above you can ‘create your mini world’!

  • In Photoshop open your image and then set the height to the same value as the width (remember to untick the ‘constrain proportions’ option!
  • Turn the image upside down by rotating it 180 degrees.
  • Now select ‘Filter/Distort/Polar Coordinates’ – this should give you your first impression of the ‘planet’.
  • Once this is complete its down to you to play about with the levels, colours etc to your taste.
  • Job done!  Obviously the more of these you do the better you will get. This is my first attempt which although needs work, came out quite well with no prior experience in this process!

Some great examples of polar panorama’s are below;

By . Athalfred .

By . Athalfred .

By [niv]

By [niv

By sleepychinchilla

By sleepychinchilla

By ~jjjohn~

By ~jjjohn~

By sleepychinchilla

By sleepychinchilla

By sleepychinchilla

By sleepychinchilla

By 100777

By 100777

By sleepychinchilla

By sleepychinchilla

By . Athalfred .

By . Athalfred .

By Mario Groleau photo

By Mario Groleau photo

Further resources;

30+ Examples & Tutorials Of Stunning Polar Panorama Photos

30 Creative Photography Examples using the Polar Panorama Effect

Preview image by Mario Groleau photo

Written by Barry Chignell

I believe that advice should be free, with this in mind FPR contains over 600 photography articles covering all areas of the photography world. From wedding photography to HDR and from interviews from retailers to pro photographers. I am always interested to hear from anyone in the profession regarding new and exciting ideas and ventures and am happy to help photographers publicise their work. If you would like to discuss your photography and how FPR can help, email me at bchignell@gmail.com.

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