Possibly one of the easiest effects to create in Photoshop, but it looks as though it’s really complicated.

I’ve used a custom shape for the demo here, but you can use this on photographs as well. Remember to duplicate the b/ground and then click on the eyeball to hide it, that is in case you don’t like what you end up with or ….. you make a complete dog’s breakfast of it 🙂

To practise on, you can do the same thing I have below – create a new file, mine is 800 × 600 @72dpi and then pick a custom shape. I right clicked on the shape and chose Rasterise from the menu. I then used a Gradient Overlay adjustment layer (available from the FX icon at the bottom of the layers palette) to create the file below.

Go to the side toolbar and select the Single Column Marquee Tool. Looking at the image below the image below :-), you can click roughly in a similar area to get the hang of what’s going on.

Press Ctrl + T on the keyboard to bring up the Transform Tool, or you can go to Edit>Transform. Place your cursor over the little Box and drag to the left (or the right). Press Enter to accept and then Ctrl + D to Deselect.

You should have an idea of what is going on here now. So, go to the side toolbar again and this time select the Single Row Marquee Tool and click in a similar place to what I have in the image below, press Ctrl + T to bring up the Transform Tool and drag the little box to the top of the image. Hit Enter, then deselect by pressing Ctrl + D

So lets do this again, but add a filter to the selected area. Use either the single row or single column for you selection, bring up the Transform Tool, drag it to where you want and then press enter to accept – DO NOT deselect the selection. Go to the Filter and choose something like Distort>Zig Zag choose some settings, hit OK to accept and then press Ctrl + D to deselect. You may end up with something similar to the image below.

In the image below I gave the Shape Layer a drop shadow, unlocked the b/ground layer and chose another Gradient Overlay Adjustment Layer and below is the final result. It’s an extremely quick and simple effect. Have fun!

I used the Polar co-ordinates filter on a couple of areas to get the strange kind of effect