Believe it or not, this photo planet was made entirely from a shot of a grubby old roasting tin and a simple but cunning combination of Photoshop effects!
If you’re into spacescapes, the core skills in this walkthrough will add to your sci-fi repertoire of techniques, and you’ll be able to incorporate planets, moons and other heavenly bodies into your scenes. Let’s see how it’s done…
Draw a selection
Open you starting file (a close up shot of an old greasy baking tin works well). Take the Elliptical Marquee tool, and draw out a circle covering the width of the image; if you hold down Shift while making the selection you’ll be able to draw a perfect circle. Go to Edit > Copy to copy the selection. Next press D, then X to set the background colour to black.
Create the background
Go to File > New > Blank File. Set Width to 10 inches, Height to 8 inches, Resolution to 300 pixels /inch and Background Contents to Background Colour. Go to Edit > Paste to paste the circular selection into this document. Click Show Bounding Box, and drag a corner handle to scale the selection down. Select the black background by clicking in it with the Magic Wand tool, then press Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection, so that the circle is selected.
Get some perspective
To give the planet some perspective go to Filter > Distort > Spherize. Enter a value of 100% and click OK, then go to Filter > Spherize to reapply the filter. Create a new layer, and draw another circular selection that’s roughly the size of the planet. Go to Edit > Fill Selection and fill with black. Hide this layer for now by clicking the eye icon to the left of the layer thumbnail.
Add an atmosphere
Click on the planet layer and go to Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings. Check Glow, then check Inner. Set Size to 25px and Opacity to 75%, then click the colour swatch and choose a light blue. Next check Outer, set Size to 80px and Opacity to 75%, and choose a slightly different shade of light blue.
Create the dark side
Show the black circle layer at the top of the layer stack, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set Radius to 70 Pixels to create the effect of a shadow. Select the Move tool, click Show Bounding Box, resize the circle if need be by dragging a corner handle, and position the shadow roughly as shown.
Add a sunrise and stars
Go to Layer > New > Layer. In the dialog set Mode to Hard Light and tick ‘Fill with Hard Light-neutral colour’. Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare, and set Brightness to 100% and Lens Type to 50-300mm zoom. Click OK, then use the Move tool to position the flare on the planet’s horizon. Take the Brush tool, set Size to 5 pixels, hardness to 100% and the foreground colour to white, and click to dot a few stars around.
Canon Tips: get consistent white balance within the same scene
Fine art photography: what you need to shoot amazing photo projects at home
13 awesome photography projects for 2013
Our 12 most popular photography tutorials and features of 2012