How to Create a Fisheye Lens Effect Using Photoshop


in Photography, Photoshop

Post image for How to Create a Fisheye Lens Effect Using Photoshop

Above is the result of this tutorial.

Here I have a photo of the Boston skyline, taken with a 18-200mm lens at 18mm:

The first thing I’ll do is select the elliptical marquee tool from the tool bar:

As I’m making my selection on the photograph, I’ll hold down the Shift key on my keyboard to keep the circle proportionally round. I’ll try to make the selection as big as I can without extending outside the photo. Then I’ll center it over the portion of the photo that I think is most interesting. While I’m centering the circle, I’ll make sure that I still have the elliptical marquee tool selected:

The next thing I’ll do is reverse the selection, so that I’m selecting everything in the photo except the circle so that I can get rid of the background. I’ll go to Select/Inverse:

Now I’ll hit the Delete key on my keyboard. The background will turn white:

Now I can use the move tool to center the circle:

Now I do the Select/Inverse again, because I want to make the background black:

I’ll use the paint bucket tool from the tool bar to fill the background black:

Now for the last time I’ll do a Select/Inverse:

The next step is to give the circle the fisheye look. Here I’ll go to Filter/Distort/Spherize:

Here the Spherize dialog box comes up. I’ll make the amount 100% and I’ll set the Mode to “Normal”:

I’ll hit CTRL-D on my keyboard to deselect. Then I’ll just crop out some extra black background.:

Here is the finished photo:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and have fun playing with Photoshop.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

kumaran April 12, 2009 at 8:55 am

ok better thank

Edward April 16, 2009 at 11:38 am

that is just great.

UK Swindle May 4, 2009 at 2:35 am

simple but effective. Saves me buying a fisheye too! Cheers mate.

Crickett Hernandez May 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Thank You so much for the tutorial. Im new to all of this and only have photoshop elements 7 so i know there is not alot i can do, but what i can learn will prepare me for when i can get CS3 or CS4. I know with alot of dedication and persiverance i will conquor photoshop. Once again thank you so much It was beautiful the way you did this

deven July 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Its was really very nice. i want you to please reguarly email me on my id such tutorials.. thanks…

admin July 31, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Hi, Deven. You don’t need to get email every time there’s a new post. Just subscribe to the RSS feed, and you’ll see my new articles in your RSS aggregator. Just click the orange RSS button at the top of the page.

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Funkydan August 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Wow, thanks so much for that! You explain things so well :)

Here’s a link to the pic I made:

Thanks again!!


admin August 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Hi Dan,
I checked out your photo on Flickr. It came out great! I’m glad you had a positive learning experience.


Dave Tapper October 27, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Hi, I found this tutorial really easy to follow, and therefore easy to do on a photo for myself. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Sam January 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Sweet tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to post!!!!
The sharing of knowledge is the best a person could hope to do!

Zach March 11, 2010 at 5:45 am

Thanks a stack man.
suss the snaps if you like
ZACH! Photography (search on facebook, not sure if it works on google)

Mengaman October 15, 2010 at 12:16 am

Thanks lots.

Madawa August 23, 2013 at 5:11 am

Wooow this is great…
thank you verry much..

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