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.

17 thoughts on “How to Create a Fisheye Lens Effect Using Photoshop”

  1. 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

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

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


  4. 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.

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

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

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