50 Dazzling Examples of Polar Panorama Photography

Inspiration, Resources | Jun 30, 2009

Polar panoramas, also known as stereographic projections or ‘little planets’, are spectacular images that are created out of panoramic photos.

While the effects are quite stunning, these images are actually very easy for anyone to produce.

The basic principle is to take a panoramic photo, make some easy changes to it, and finally apply a Photoshop filter (Distort > Polar Coordinates) to complete the effect.

For detailed instructions, please follow this easy tutorial.

Here are 50 dazzling examples of polar panorama photography.

Have you tried this technique on your panoramic photos? Please share your comments  below, we’d love to hear from you…


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  • Oliver

    awesome. They look amazing

  • Mahallo Media

    Wow Oliver you are right, its just amazing!!

  • Simple

    Truly amazing

  • Jonny Pioww

    Wow that’s amazing. I’ve always wondered what genuinely creative effects you could get with the “Polar Coordinates” filter. Thanks for a great post!

  • irishmark

    I did this ages back:

    The shot is of my Bro at a service station on the way up to Glasgow.

    • Walter

      I like it ;)

  • Dragon013

    Amazing pictures!

  • Adam

    Those are absolutely amazing – I love them. They remind me of that new Mario game where he’s landing on all the planets. If they were a better shape I’d be using them as my desktop background. Any chance of some wallpapers?

  • gkleon

    there is even the little prince world

  • Caitlin

    These are all very cool. Thanks a lot!

  • Paul Payne

    wow, I want to know how to do that!

  • Jake

    Wow, these are awesome! I especially like the city-scape ones with bright lights… amazing effects

  • theamoeba

    very nice, just like the little prince – similar little planets :D

  • Afsin

    Some results are very good.

  • John G

    Wow. How do people come up with this stuff?

  • Mondo Jay

    These are all amazing,
    really cool use of the polar panorama photography
    nice post…

  • Vizin


  • Alejandro

    Wow! Cool Article! by the way… GREAT website!!! Congratulations!!!

  • e-Muš


  • bebopdesigner

    Amazing work! thanks for putting these together and sharing !

  • Lucky

    Here’s my first try at such a panorama:

    What do you think?

    • Walter

      I like the top, but at the bottom it gets a bit blurry…

    • Muzbot

      I like it.

  • DJ

    Anybody got a link to a tutorial on accomplishing this?

  • Walter

    @DJ: It’s on the intro to this post.

  • Liora

    Where do you find these things? This blog is a contant source of inspiration and variation. I love the examples with the paved sidewalks and mosaics in the foreground.

  • Walter

    Thanks for the kind comments. I’m glad that everyone’s enjoying the pics! :)

  • Muzbot

    This was my first attempt at creating one of these. It’s a bit rough.

  • e11world

    I’ll google how to make these and try and come up with something. I’m also looking to learn how to photograph smoke and things like that a bit better.

  • RoaldA


  • Carl – Web Courses Bangkok Instructor


  • Lisa

    Wow… they are so surreal. Stunning idea

  • Chris Puttick

    For those with better things to spend their money on, the same functionality can be found in Gimp (2.6.6) under Filters/Distorts/Polar Coordinates.

  • web development

    I love the photos. Thanks for sharing the tutorials.

  • B-82
  • Daniel

    beatiful images. thank you :)

  • ted @pangio

    A simple way to create a little planet projection is to use the krpano flash viewer. I have used this flash player on

    Take a look at the equirectangular panorama images here
    Beneath the image on the left side of spherical panoramas there is a small link called “little planet” for viewing the panorama image as a planet.

    You can upload your own panoramas to Panogio and look at them as planets! Here are my panoramas!

  • djashish

    marvelous work..hats off to such a creative and imaginary work

  • ThePortfolioPro

    Great Use of effects, light, color, mood, and tone. You did really good work on those very amazing to look at! Thanks :)

  • omar

    wow really neat gonna have fun with that tonight :)

  • Allen

    These are really nice, creative photographs

  • DoN

    Actually they ain’t that easy to do, if you want to do it properly – and using polar coordinates isn’t the proper way as you get horrible distortions in the middle and on the edges. You should have an equirectangular panorama covering 360×180 degrees and then change the projection. But the hardest part is to get that panorama, having a panoramic tripod head is really usefull. I’ve done some experiments few years ago, mainly shot from hand with wideangle lens:

    • mike

      I looked at your shots. frankly… they are way better than any of these here. The majority of the pictures shown in this blog seem distorted, as if someone just went in an image editing/manipulation application and applied an effect.

    • andy

      I agree with them below(or above) me. Your photos look much better because the group hasn’t been distorted terribly. If you happen to read this comment, could you possibly post a quick how to, a little more in depth that your comment above has? I’m quite intrigued by your shots and would like to create my own

  • Michael

    Wow! Great inspiration! I really like the effect! #7 is really, really good.

    Well, I got distracted and made my own just now!


    Great collection!

  • Tim

    Wow these are great. How were they made? I think a tutorial or 2 is in order.

    • Michael

      The tutorial link is at the top.

  • Bridget Casas

    I think I would like to try this. I have seen this before and I thought a special wide angle lens was used. Thank you for the tutorial.

  • veronica

    woah baby.. im feeling real inspired right about now. :]

  • robb

    wow these are all incredible.
    hopes to see tutorial soon.

  • Web Design Company

    These are great!

  • Luke Jones
  • felonious monk

    wow… some radical photography there by the way… absolutely brilliant…
    fantastic… : )

  • spaceface

    Most of these are crap, sorry. I only found about 5% of it aesthetically pleasing. Yes, I am difficult to please.

  • Calgary Graphic Design

    Being difficult to please is not an attribute.

    Fascinating post – thanks for sharing!

  • Iceman

    Simply amazing visuals.
    It’s always a pleasure to see the world in a different way.

  • Adam

    What a crazy arse effect!

  • Hosting boy

    Incredible pics.

  • kuba
  • tombarreto

    I made this

    for a contest in the Worth1000 site.
    Hope you enjoy.

  • Alexander Bickov

    Amazing photo editing

  • ben

    thanks it’s so easy

  • Most Interesting Ideas

    Awesome examples.

  • pesho

    Thanks 4 every thing

  • leo
  • leo
  • Peter

    Your posts would be way better if shorter and more focused. Half of these are half-assed attempts, not anything near “dazzling”.

  • Web Design Maidstone Kent

    absolutely amazing

  • photo stitching

    Beautiful photography!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Jim

    Here’s another, of a lobster bake on a Maine island:

  • Will McNeice

    Very interesting project. I’d never seen these polar panoramic photos before. I like them a lot, though get a slight sense of vertigo if I look at them too long!

  • Dan Moore

    I have shot a few of these with with a 4×5 camera. They are a lot of fun though there are some much better ways in doing them.

    Mine can be seen on my website at

  • Lidia

    Good work, I especially like the inclusion of good ol’ NMC hahhaaha wasn’t expecting to stumble upon that.

  • Dave

    Wow.. Those are really nice. Huge imagination. I like the football field one myself…

  • Jennifer

    Wow. These are amazing.. Thanks for sharing. Great collection of photographs. I would love to see how these would look enlarged on Canvas. At we have created a lot of canvas enlargements of traditional panoramic photos but I think these would look fantastic!

  • Brandon Kitajchuk

    These are sweet! I love photos like this. Been meaning to take a stab at one of my own :)

  • nc انسیه

    very nice,tnx 4 share…

  • Site Reviver

    Awesome photography :)

  • peach

    Woah! These are all great shots.

  • Nutronic

    Absolutely brilliant, no need to take boring pics anymore!!

  • Orlando Web Design

    These are fantastic. I’m about to go make some of these…


    wow that’s great

  • Kevin Hoover

    When I made my photographs the process was still a bit of a mystery. Stereographic projections were being done by a handful of artists at the time, and most of them were done using expensive panoramic camera equipment. most of the talk about here about distortions come from the problem of shooting this technique on a tripod. It is almost impossible to get the absolute center of the images without getting the tripod in the shot. This is why it is typical to see a pinching distortions in the center of the images. Distortion on the outer edges is an algorithm problem. If you are using a stitching technique, the parts that produce the outer edges of the image are distorted because there is less data to work with. The technique I used was to create a panorama from several overlapping images which would later be stitched with photo-editing software. From there I would use a stereoscopic plugin for photoshop and complete the photos. Thank you for featuring some of my work, it is good to see others doing it as well!

  • TontakarN

    Wow really nice and amazing [^___^]/

  • Ragnar Steinmoen

    Great :)

  • Logo Design

    Ahhh! the one with the eiffel tower is a gem of a view thanks for this.