Planetoid photography turns panoramic images into beguiling spherical scenes, pictures that at first glance appear to be tiny planets floating in space. A simple planetoid can be constructed from a landscape photograph, transformed with some fairly simple steps in Photoshop, adjusting image dimensions and using the Polar Coordinates filter.

The planetoids in this post take the process much further. Generally, a 360-degree panoramic image is created from a number of photos stitched and blended together, resulting in an image that presents everything visible from a single viewpoint in space. Panoramic stitching software such as PTGui may be used for this process. The image is then stereographically projected into a spherical form. This process produces the awesome artworks listed below, astonishing images made from everyday scenes. There are many tutorials available on the Internet explaining how you can begin building your own universe of planetoid photographs.

1.Planet Chez Patrice in Paris France at Sunset


Image: Boltron

Boltron is a prolific planetoid producer, making many beautiful cityscape spheres. This image is constructed from 32 photographs of Parisian rooftops near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The atmospheric orange and blue lighting is complimented by compositional touches including the crane and television aerials at the planetoid’s poles.

2. Bristling Out


Image: Heiwa4126

This striking image is a stereographic projected version of an original panoramic composite photograph, which was captured through a fisheye lens.



Image: Sirispj

The dynamism of the rollercoaster and tunnelling cloud formations offer a sense of vertigo to this composite image.

4.Planet Reservoir


Image: Rawheadrex

This charmingly colourful planetoid is composed of photographs of a reservoir in Brookline, Massachusetts in USA.

5. Planet Mumbai


Image: Godwin D

The panorama that makes up this planetoid was shot at Azad Maidan in southern Mumbai, and shows the city’s characteristic skyline and scorched midsummer hues.

6. Leuchtwagen


Image: HamburgerJung

The centrepiece of this slightly eerie planetoid is a glowing shopping trolley.

7. Planet Danube


Image: Ocbeejay

The serenely coloured waters of the River Danube create a mercurial metallic effect when transformed into this planetoid.

8. Ch√¢teau de Vincennes


Image: Gadl

This planetoid is composed from a panorama, which itself was constructed from 43 individual photographs. The buildings on the planet’s horizon are the medieval castle and church at Vincennes in eastern Paris.

9. Gate Planet


Image: Vitroid

This planetoid of Gakushuin Unversity, Mejiro, Tokyo, is constructed from a handheld panorama shot on a Pentax with fisheye lens, stitched and toned with Hugin imaging software.

10. Fountain Park Planet


Image: Heiwa4126

The lights and evening sky in this stereographically projected image create a distinctly spacey atmosphere.

11. Glass Buildings


Image: Gadl

This planetoid, with its pleasingly distorted glass buildings, is made from a handheld panorama using 81 pictures.

12. Christmas Planet


Image: Latch R

The sunny poolside scene on this planetoid is the setting for the photographer’s family Christmas celebrations.

13. Crazy Planet Náměstí Republiky Metro Stop in Prague


Image: Boltron

A panorama taken in a Prague Metro station forms the basis for this unusual planetoid, with its intersecting circles and eclipse lighting effects.

14. Planet Hong Kong


Image: Ocbeejay

The hazy horizon and bristling skyscrapers in this image are from an elevated panorama of Hong Kong.

15. Planet San Francisco


Image: Boltron

Planet San Francisco is constructed from 36 pictures taken with a rooftop-mounted tripod, merged using Photoshop CS3 and the Flexify 2 stereographic projection filter.

16. Turkish Planet


Image: Gadl

The photographer has had plenty of fun with this planetoid, hugely distorting a chimney that stands above a Turkish plaza to create the balance in the stereographic projection.

17. Snow Planet


Image: Rawheadrex

A peacefully snow-bound planetoid, circled with leafless trees.

18. Planet St Ludmilla Church in Prague


Image: Boltron

Prague’s St Ludmilla Church tops this planet, which is formed from 24 individual pictures. The photographer merged the image with PTGui, imaging software for stitching photographs into a 360-degree panoramic image.

19. Place de la République, Lille


Image: Alexandre Duret-Lutz

This image, made from a 56-photograph handheld panorama, uses the floor decoration in Lille’s Place de la République to form the compass point design at the centre of the planetoid.

20. Planet Widener


Image: Rawheadrex

This planetoid enjoys the contrast of a neo-classical portico to the north, with verdant lawns and trees in the southern hemisphere.

21. Planeta Vista Alegre


Image: Alex J Clark

This stereographic projection originates from a spherical panorama taken at Vista Alegre vineyard in Peru. Assembled from 78 images, the composition is neatly balanced with the dark mass of trees setting off the white fluff of cloud to the left.

22. Tatsumi Sakura Bashi


Image: Heiwa4126

The patterned surface of the footbridge at the centre of this image emphasizes the planetoid’s spherical shape along with its sedate city skyline.


If this post has peaked your interest and you want to give planetoid photography a try, here are a few links to tutorials that will get you started:


What do you think about these photos? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

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