Playing with the Distortion Filter

Distorted Flower

The NAPP community forums are a great place to challenge yourself both photographically and graphically with things like daily monthly and weekly challenges.  This last week I was reminded of the Distortion filter in Photoshop and decided to take some time as a few ideas sprung to mind.  I posted the results and was asked pretty shortly thereafter what my post production was to yield the effect.  To that end, of course, decided it would make for some good content to share here as well.  So, here’s what you can do with various distortion filters in Photoshop!

The result:

Distorted Flower

The original:

Original Flower

The processing:

I started first with some flowers from the local florist shop (Tracy enjoyed that part!).  Once I got them home and in a vase for her I went to town with my Sigma 70mm Macro!  My camera settings for most shots were in this area:  f2.8, Tv 90, ISO 1250.  After shooting, it was time to import into Lightroom (where I do all my image management from).  Once in LR, the post production began!

Exp +0.87
Clarity +50
Vibrance +15
Saturation +15
Sharpening Amount +95
Luminance +78

I then exported to Photoshop to take some creative license with the distortion filters.  Inside of PS (I am currently using CS5 but these filters are available pretty far back into the CS family), I dabbled with fresco, film grain, polar coordinates, and others, before finally choosing Ocean Ripple:

Ocean Ripple

I believe my settings on the filter were 10 and 9 – but forgot to make note of those for here, so apologies in advance! 🙂  Then, to wrap things up, I saved back to Lightroom, cropped to 5×4 (10×8) aspect ratio and added a hint of vignette to get the final result you saw at the beginning here.

There’s lots of other options to inspire the creative eye though.  Here’s another shot taken to a darker place:

Distorted Moon

Can you guess which filter(s) were used here?  What other filters have made their way into your creative post production – when it comes to creative design inside Photoshop, there really is no limit to what you can achieve! Even taking things for a spin in Photoshop Touch is easy enough (it only costs like $10 and now available on the iPad2 from what I understand) to get the juices flowing.  Share your own thoughts, images, and feedback in the comments!  Lots more coming this week too, so hang on to your seat belts!