Yanik's Photo School

The Orton Effect in Photoshop – Video Tutorial

In this Photoshop video tutorial, I’ll show you 2 ways of creating the Orton Effect. The Orton Effect was created by a photographer called Michael Orton back in prehistoric times the days of film. He would combine a properly focused and exposed image with an out of focus and overexposed image to get a special dreamy effect. A blurry, slightly saturated photo that still looks sharp.

Of course don’t start applying this effect on every single photo. Yes, it looks good but take the time to explore the mood of your photo and see if this effect is appropriate for it. It’s like HDR or the Dave Hill look. It has to be used on the right images to unleash its full potential.

In the wonderful days of digital, we can now easily reproduce the Orton Effect in Photoshop. Let me show you 2 ways of getting it done.


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3 responses on "The Orton Effect in Photoshop - Video Tutorial"

  1. A great tutorial with an interesting result.

  2. Profile photo of Yanik

    @ John

    You’re absolutely right! I took it for granted that you should always post process your high res image. In my example I was working on a 12mp image. So if you’re working on a lower resolution image, you’ll need less than 20 pixels.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. re: orton effect
    Doesn’t the resolution of the image you’re working on have something to do with the amount of Gaussian blur you use, measured in pixels? Maybe 20 pixels would be right for a low res, where you may need 40 or more for the same effect on a high res image?
    What size image do you “usually use” 20 pixels?

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