Kaleidoscope effect in Photoshop

In my opinion, every designer should own the basics of photography. You never know when you have to go to the city and take a few pictures for your project. For example, I often photograph something and collect my data library just in case.

On New Year’s, I took a few pictures in Central Park. Some of the shots were good, and some were not. In this lesson, I will show you what can be done with low-quality photos so that they can be applied to certain projects. In this case, we will create a kaleidoscope effect.

Final result:

Lesson resources:

1. Photo preparation

To begin, open the DNG file. This is the Adode RAW format. Always take pictures in the RAW format, as you will have more opportunities during post-processing.

In addition to the DNG file, the JPG file is also provided. The DNG file has a size of 40 MB and a resolution of 7360 x 4912 pixels. If you have a not very powerful computer, I advise you to immediately work with the JPG file and skip the stage with Camera RAW.

Step 1

Open the DNG file in Adobe Camera RAW.

Step 2

We will only change the basic settings. How to finish, click on the button Open image (Open Image).


Step 3

Choose a tool Cropping (Crop Tool) (C) and crop a part of the photo. We need to get rid of the stars and the light. On the top panel, you need to enable the function Remove clipped pixels (Delete Cropped Pixels).

Step 4

Double click on the photo layer to unlock it. Name the layer “Top Left”.

2. Kaleidoscope Effect

Step 1

First you need to expand the canvas. Go to menu Image> Canvas size (Image> Canvas Size). Enter the values ​​shown below and set the direction of the expansion of the canvas.

Step 2

Create a copy of the photo layer (Ctrl + J) and rename it to “Top Right”.

Turn it the other way. Editing> Transform> Flip Horizontal (Edit> Transform> Flip Horizontal).

Place a copy in the upper right corner. Use binding Browse> Binding (View> Snap) so that there are no gaps between the layers.

Select both layers and make copies of them. Name the copies “Bottom Right” and “Bottom Left”.

Both copies must be reflected vertically. Editing> Transform> Flip Vertically (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical).

If you have an empty space at the bottom of the canvas, go to the menu Picture > Trimming (Image> Trim).

3. Recent corrections

At this point you can finish the lesson. The effect of a kaleidoscope is received. In my opinion on the image warm tones prevail. Since the original photo was taken in the winter, I believe that you need to add more cold tones.

Step 1

Select all layers and merge them.

Name the resulting layer “Kaleidoscope”.

Step 2

There are many ways of color correction. I, for example, will use the Camera Raw filter. Convert the “Kaleidoscope” layer into a smart object.

Step 3

Go to menu Filter > Camera Raw (Filter> Camera Raw).

Adjust the temperature:

Since we applied a smart filter, you can change the settings at any time.


In graphic design, in my opinion, it is very important to be able to creatively handle the source code. In this lesson, you saw how we processed a seemingly useless image and created a kaleidoscope effect. In this way, you can create anything: background, interface element, texture, etc.

More examples:

Posted by: Grant Friedman

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