Apply ORTON effect with Photoshop.

March 2017

Apply ORTON effect with Photoshop.

From the name of the photographer who developed it, this effect gives to a photograph a vaporous and saturated color, a surprising result.
In picture film, the photographer Michael Orton superimposes two images of the same scene: the first with a sharp focus, the second with a soft focus. The result is an airy feeling and saturated colors of the prettiest effect.

Digitally, it is possible to achieve the same thing from a single photo! This is what we will try to do in Photoshop with this tutorial.

Preparation of photo

  • Once your photo is found, open photoshop then minimize it if necessary.
  • Go to Image > Image size (and depending on the initial size set a percentage reduction by 65% of original size).

Creating the Orton effect

  • Duplicate the original layer of photo (Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer)
  • Repeat the operation to have 3 layers, one below will only serve as a backup.
  • Spread the top layer in Overlay mode :
    • Select the top layer and "mode" (on the Layers window), choose the blending mode superposition
  • Make a click on the last layer, then the menu Layer > Merge below (CTRL + E)
  • This will merge the layer with the one located just below. You now have two layers.
  • On the top layer, right click and choose "Duplicate Layer".
  • We will now make the top layer blur.
  • Make sure it is selected in the Layers window, then the main menu, choose Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur.
  • The intensity of the blur will depend on the size of your image.
  • Adjust the blur radius to make it strong enough so that the outlines of objects are still visible, but not the details.
  • Several tests will surely necessary. Also, some pictures lend themselves more to style than others.
  • Change the blending mode of this layer (the one above) "Product".
  • Once that is done, you can adjust the opacity of that layer, and come with overexposure levels if you want the shortcut Ctrl + L (or Image > Adjustments > Levels).
  • Then save the image, then compare the two and enjoy the results.
    • Original photo
    • Photo with the ORTON effect


Published by aakai1056.
This document, titled "Apply ORTON effect with Photoshop.," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (