I thought we should start the new year off with something simple and it's been a while since we orbed! I was introduced to orbs by the late Wendy Williams. You can read more about them at: www.billbarberphoto.com/category/orbs/ , there's an active facebook group where you can see lots of examples at: www.facebook.com/groups/181794065304487/ and many of the forum participants here have posted orbed image examples before.
The instructions for creating orbs are very simple.
1. Crop your image into a square - to make a perfect orb it needs to be a perfect square.
2. Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates and select Polar to Rectangular
3. Image>Rotate>Flip Vertical
4. Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates and select Rectangular to Polar
These instructions work in every version of Elements. In Photoshop the only difference is that Flip Vertical is under Edit>Transform
Although every image will make an orb what it looks like depends very much on the image and how it's cropped. It's quick and easy to experiment. What you do after step 4 is up to you - feel free to experiment and, if you remember, tell us what you did.
The images below might be helpful in developing an intuition about what is going to end up where with this effect. The first thing I noticed was that the middle square became the outer border. After that, the areas above, below and to each of the sides dominate, the four corners taking a lesser role.