A re-post from 5-years ago…

Just something to break the photo-a-day monotony

A Mandala


The mandala began with this next image ( growing in my water garden)

The transformation, in Photoshop, went as follows –

– Crop off the bottom to leave a square
– Duplicate this square 3 times

  • Rotated 1 copy 90 degrees CW
  • Rotated 1 copy 90 degrees CCW
  • Rotated 1 copy 180 degrees

– There are now 4 squares, one rotated to each of the 4 possible rotations

  • Set the blending mode for each to Overlay
  • Flatten the 4 layers to make a single image layer
  • Duplicate this new layer
  • Flip the new layer vertically
  • Set its blending mode to overlay

–  Flatten these two layers

– Adjust color & tonal contrast to taste
– Crop to a circle
– Fill the border with a color that suits
– and – it’s finished.

To summarize the above

The final image is a blended composite of all eight possible orientations of the original square image


This is my recipe for creating a photo mandala. When I first tried this several years ago, it seemed to be the natural (intuitive?) way to do it in Photoshop (at least for someone who doesn’t use PS much).

When writing this post I Googled to see what others did – and was surprised that no one else did it this way (that I found). The “standard” involved cutting a triangular wedge from the starting photo & repeatedly copying, pasting, and moving each new wedge to a position alongside the others

much like if you cut a pie into 12-15 slices, took them out of the pie plate and then put them all back together again. That approach results in something like this –

Whatever floats your boat. 😉


Here is my first mandala from May 2007 together with its starting image. Same technique as today’s.

Done my way, its difficult to imagine the final result. Every one is a surprise. I’ve found that simple starting images like this tree and the flower in the featured image work best – at least for my taste. Busier images end up looking – well, too busy, all a big jumble like this next one –