Orton Effect

I didn’t get a chance to take that photo walk yesterday. But last night I did take a look at some wheat field photos that I took last summer.

I found one that I was not totally happy with but hadn’t tried to do anything with, so I decided to make that photo my photography experiment of the day.

Here it is straight out of the camera.

Golden Fields SOOC
Golden Fields SOOC

 It’s OK, but not great. It’s kind of dull and flat.

I had heard about and seen photos that have been done with the HDR and Orton effects but had never tried any. They all looked very complicated but I figured it was about time I gave one of these a try.

After a quick Google search I found several tutorials on the Orton effect. I was right, most of them were very complicated and used software that I do not have. I did find one tutorial that didn’t sound too difficult but it used a different version of Photoshop then what I have. I thought “OK, take these instructions and try to make them work with what  you’ve got”.

So that’s what I did and I ended up with this.

Golden Fields is available at RedBubble
Golden Fields is available at RedBubble
The Orton effect is suppose to be “painterly, ethereal, and romantic”. I didn’t quite get there but it’s a better picture now. Don’t you think?


The first thing I did with the final piece was to add it to my RedBubble gallery. Then I decided I would type up my own tutorial so that I would not forget how I did it.

So here it goes. My take on the Orton effect made with Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0.

1) Choose your image and make a copy to work with. Open that copy in PS Elements 5.0.

2) Saturate your colors if need be. Obviously I needed to do that. The wheat came out with a bit more red then I would have liked but for a first attempt it’s not so bad. (this is your first layer)

3) Copy the image to a new layer and change the blend mode to “screen” with the opacity at 100%.

4) Copy this new layer to a 3rd layer. Set the filter to Gaussian Blur somewhere between 20 and 60 pix. I used about 50 for this one.

5) Merge the 3rd layer down to the 2nd layer and change the blend mode to “multiply”.

6) Adjust opacity if needed. I set it to around 85% this time.

7) Flatten image.

8) That’s it. Save your finished piece!

Now you may have to adjust this some depending on what size your original photo is. Mine was somewhere around 7800 pix on the long side and the resolution was set at 300. I haven’t experimented with anything smaller or larger. -yet

Give it a try with one of  your landscapes. Let me know how it turns out.


6 thoughts on “Orton Effect”

  1. Wow these pictures remind me of being back home in North Dakota with the wheat and perfectly flat landscape. Except that now the landscape is scattered with giant windmills.

  2. It’s pretty flat for several miles when you go east of town, where this picture was taken. But if you go west of town for a while you start seeing rocky hills. I bet it is a lot like ND!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. The after effect adds so much interest into the picture, it’s amazing!

    As always, great work!

    By the way, I see you changed your theme. Very nice! 🙂

  4. Vera, Thanks for stopping by again! Always great to have you around. Yep, I changed things up a bit. Trying to make all my sites more alike. You know, working on my “brand”.

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