Magic Circles

_MG_8772-Edit org


I was recently inspired by a wonderfully creative group of photographers. The Sandhills Photo Club asked me to judge their Creative competition. Any subject… any technique… and wow the images were amazing.  Here is one I have used for a long time and you might have seen, but if not, give it a try!

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1. Choose an image that has symmetry for best results and a defined center.

2. Crop the image to a square format, ie. 6”x6”

3. Make a copy of the Background Layer by selecting it and clicking Ctrl/Cmd J.

4. On duplicate layer – Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Polar to Rectangular

5. On duplicate Layer > Edit > Transform > Rotate 180 degrees

6. On duplicate Layer >Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Rectangular to Polar

7. On Layers palette, click the dropdown and select Flatten Layers.

IMG_6066-org                    IMG_6066 blue

Additional ideas:

You can set this up as a Photoshop Action and play all day long.

You can select the four corners which are always a solid color and change the color or add a gradient as I did with the pier.

2 thoughts on “Magic Circles

  1. Hi Susan:

    Meant to sent you a note thanking you for a great job on judging the SPC competition. Wish you could have been there to elaborate on the comments but as it turned out your illness was a blessing since we had torrential rains.

    Thanks for sharing the technique. I love doing orbitals.


    • Gisela,

      So nice to receive your note. I didn’t realize the weather was that bad down there… guess it was a blessing. It’s a long drive for me. We had another gully-washer here last night but looks like your area gets even more from what the news says.

      Glad to elaborate with anyone who wants to discuss their entry… such a neat group!

      Hope to see you soon,


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