I’ve been mulling this one for a while, and trying to figure out where the best location to try it would be. The idea behind a tiny planet picture is to take an image of something (usually panoramic), and distort it in a way so that it seems like it is one self contained object floating in space.
The most important part of achieving this look is making sure that the very left edge of the image is seamlessly lined up with the very right edge. Unfortunately this can prove difficult if you aren’t dealing with a perfectly flat and consistent horizon, such as a body of water or Saskatchewan. One way around it is to do a level 360º panorama, which I just don’t have time for. I opted instead to make a panorama out of about 5 shots, and then use an old technique I figured out in Photoshop that I used for texture work on 3D models to make a proper seamless pattern. Essentially I cut the image down the middle somewhere, and put the left side over to the right, and the right side over to the left. This will still leave a harsh line of disconnection, but it’s right in the middle and much easier to work with and fix, while I don’t have to worry about the sides any more, because as long as I don’t touch them again, I know they connect seamlessly.
After enough playing around and trying on a few different scenes, I liked this one the most.
It was taken my 24-70mm lens zoomed at about 50mm to reduce distortion, shot at 1/250 and f6.3, with an ISO of 100. There were five shots used, stitched into a panorama, then split in half and made seamless, and finally distorted with the Polar Coordinates distortion filter in Photoshop.