Photoshop Twirl

Twirl original Twirl 1


A friend posted this neat set of steps in Photoshop.  I suggest cropping to a square but rectangles can look good too. I have made an Action that you can add to Photoshop > Presets > Action.  It stops at the last step so you can still adjust the blending modes before Flattening all layers.  If you email me, I will send it to you.

  1. Open you photo in Photoshop > unlock background
  2. Go to filter >pixelate >mezzotint >medium lines
  3. Go back to filter >blur>radial blur 100% >blur zoom quality best
  4. Repeat steps 3, 3-5 times
  5. Duplicate layer and turn duplicate layer off (eyeball)
  6. Highlight and work on original photo layer
  7. Filter>distort> twirl (angle value plus 80% or how you desire
  8. Turn on other layer and filter>distort> Twirl >Angle value minus 80% or as desired but it will be opposite of #7
  9. Alter duplicate layer blending mode to lighten on screen
  10. Experiment with other filter and blending modes
  11. Flatten layers




Easy impression


Final image.

I took 5 images of these potted flowers. First in the middle then moved camera to upper right a bit, over to upper left, down to lower left and over to lower right.

Then I made one file in Photoshop and dragged all the images into one file, making 5 layers.  The top 4 layers I changed the blending mode to Soft Light. Then I moved some of them to eliminate areas that had dark empty areas.  You can get really cool results on colored flower beds but this is what I found this morning.

I have shown one of the original files below. Charles Needle’s book Impressionistic Photograph has this outlined along with lots of other cool ideas.


Abstract Technique

_MG_9066-EditThis is a fun technique I have been working with for years to turn a graphic or pattern type image into a fun abstract. It can be used on busy scenes or strong graphic images.

Step 1. You can use the whole image or crop to square for better symmetry depending on the image.

_MG_9066-Edit org

Step 2. On a strong graphic image you may want to sharpen at this point to get crisper lines. Duplicate the Background layer by highlighting and hit Ctrl/Cmd J.

Step 3. Highlight new layer and Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.


Step 4. Go through the blending modes on your Layers palette. Darken, Multiply and Soft Light are my first choices to try.  This nautilus shell actually used Lighter Color.

Step 5. Above all, experiment and have fun!