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    Using Photoshop Elements fake a fisheye effect

    Fisheye lenses create bowed images that make a virtue out of barrel distortion. The wackiest of them all is the circular fisheye that gives a circular image, framed in black. It gives the view of the world that you get from looking through one of those peepholes that security-conscious people fit to their front doors.

    Thanks to attachments for Holga retro-styled cameras – and apps for your mobile phone – the fisheye effect is proving more popular than ever. And it’s simple enough to fork out for a specialist fisheye lens (such as the Sigma 4.5mm), or an add-on Lensbaby attachment, and then shoot one with your Canon D-SLR. But the technique can also be recreated in Photoshop Elements without the need for spending any money on exotic options and can be applied to many of the pictures that you have stored on your hard drive. The technique involves using one of Photoshop Elements’ distortion filters, and then using a circular selection to create the characteristic black border around the picture. We’ll show you how it’s done a step at a time, using our wide-angle shot of a long-horned Highland cow…

    From this…

    Photoshop Elements fish eye start

    To this…

    Photoshop Elements fish eye finish

    In 6 easy steps…

    1. Crop it square
    Open your starting image in Photoshop Elements. Select the Crop tool, and click-and-drag over the image – hold down the Shift key as you do so, to ensure a perfectly square crop. A target marks the centre of the square; note where this is. Click the green tick.

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 1

    2. Select a perfect circle
    Select the Elliptical Marquee tool. Click on the point in the middle of the image (which you’ve memorised from Step 1) and, while holding the Alt and Shift keys, drag outwards until you have a perfect central circle, selecting the whole of the cow. Use the arrow keys to nudge it, if necessary.

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 2

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 2a

    3. Time to Spherize
    Go to Filter>Distort>Spherize. In the box that appears, change the preview magnification from 100% to 5% so you can see the whole image. Then adjust the amount to taste. Click OK.

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 3

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 3a

    4. Marching ants
    The active circular selection (indicated by the dotted line of ‘marching ants’) can be used to create the edge of your circular fisheye image. It’s currently a hard edge, but you need to blur this line for a realistic effect. Go to Select>Feather and enter a Feather Radius of 50. Click OK.

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 4

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 4a

    5. Reverse the selection
    To create the black surround, you need to reverse your selection, so everything but the main subject is selected. To do this, go to Select>Inverse. Ensure the foreground colour is set to black, then hold down the Alt key and press Backspace.

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 5

    6. Add a black border
    You may decide at this point that you want a wider black border around your picture. To do this, go to Image>Resize>CanvasSize. Click the box marked Relative, and type in a Width and Height of 2cm in the New Size boxes. Set Canvas Extension Colour to Black, and click OK to finish.

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 6

    Photoshop Elements fish eye step 6a


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    This entry was posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 at 11:19 am and is filed under Photo Editing, Photoshop Elements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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    | Photo Editing, Photoshop Elements | 02/11/2012 11:19am
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