Doing the digital fisheye

Lomography has used and abused the fisheye concept as if it was the most mindblowing thing for any toy camera enthusiast. Use it on your Holga, or use it with a camera where you can take nothing but fisheye images.


Google for photography forums regarding fisheye lenses, and you’ll most likely get the same sentiment: ‘Cool! But I got bored after 5 shots 😕

I did go for the fisheye effect for a total of half-a-dozen shots, and I quit for the same got-bored-of-it reason. Of course I did it the Photoshop way, following in reverse the instructions posted here.

Tools you need:

  • Adobe Photoshop (tested with CS and CS 2)
  • Panotools plugin (FREE; download here)

NOTE: Its advised that to use a large image; samples’ dimensions were 1600 x 1200. You will have rough edges if you use smaller images.


  1. Install the Panotools plugin. Open Photoshop, open file/image.
  2. Set background color to black from the Tools palette.
  3. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool from the Tools palette, hold down shift (to ensure a perfect circle), and select the part of the image you want to sample. If you have difficulties moving the circle, just use your arrow buttons.
  4. Click Select -> Inverse, then press on the Delete key. You should now have a a circular image with a black background. You can now crop your image to a square (Rectangular Marquee Tool, set preferred image size, Image->Crop)
  5. Click Filter -> Panorama Tools, Remap. On the Remap Options window, ‘Convert from’ should be ‘Normal’, and ‘Convert to’ should be ‘Fisheye Hor.’. The values on the HFOV fields can be set to any value below 180. The samples were set to 130.
  6. You should now see a fisheye rendering of the image. Crop and/or resize as desired.

Here are the shots I experimented on:

From Ilocos Bridge


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  • kirc

    omg! thanks for the photoshop tip!