In November 2007, I started work early on a holiday card. I had seen a tutorial on creating circular distortions of landscapes online and already planned on using a modified version of this technique to create little planetoids. Since these were for winter, I wanted them to look crisp and sparkling, like fresh snow in the sun. Over two weeks of work later, things still didn’t look right. I had tried all kinds of effects and filters to get the right look – none of which was just right. I finally ended up doing a lot of painting with the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop, which had me nearly there. The final element was deciding to abandon having a perfectly circular edge and to add the border. Voila! I used this technique to create several more planetoids, which make me think of The Little Prince, but I also liked the effect when the sky was in the center of the images.
“Winter World #1” was the first and most difficult in the series. I love the way the single tree comes up to touch the “clouds” and the frosty look of its branches. Uses a photograph from stock.xchng member Brad Korponay (account deleted).