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Learn how to create the Orton Effect in Photoshop - two ways to do it easily. By Yanik's Photo School
Tags:The Orton Effect in Photoshop ,michael orton,orton effect,orton effect tutorial,Photoshop tutorial,yanik chauvin,yaniks photo school
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Hey, guys! Yanik here for Yanik Photo School. Today, we’re going to be looking at an effect that was created a while back before the days of digital by a photographer called Michael Orton and he created the famous Orton effect which is basically creating a dreamy state of mind in your photos. So, you won't use that on every single photo, but it works well for romantic photos, baby pictures where positive emotions are in or if you just want to create a softer feel to your photos.
Basically, what it does is that it creates a blurry effect, but keeping the sharpness of the image, but also more specifically in the Orton effect, it actually saturates the colors a little bit.
So, I’ll be showing you two ways of doing this. The first one is a little longer, but it’s not that long and the second one is a bit of a shortcut way. You can choose whichever way you prefer and tweak it as you see fit. Basically, Orton, the photographer would take a photo properly exposed and in focus and would take another photo completely out of focus and slightly over exposed and he would combine both of them and sandwich them together and make the Orton effect and we can do that usually now here in Photoshop, so let’s get right to it.
All right! Here’s our image of some lovely roses for Valentines Day. I know we’re far away from Valentines Day since it’s spring time, but it works well for this effect, so let’s get right to it.
First thing we need to do is to do duplicate our layer. So let me bring the layers palette up here so you guys can see it, there you go. And Control J to duplicate your layer and the first thing we want to do is apply a Gaussian blur to this image. Now, go into filter, blur, Gaussian blur. Now, I like to use a radius around 20 pixels, I wouldn’t go over that, I would go maybe slightly under between ten and 20 to get the proper effect and I like 20 for this image, so let’s leave it that. All we need to do after that is click okay and now you’re saying, “Okay Yanik that’s nice, it’s a nice blurry image, what’s next?” Well, I’ll show you.
The next thing we need to do is to simply reduce the opacity of this layer. We click on this and we can either enter a value or use a slider and it’s basically going by eye to see what fits for you. For this image, I like around 40%. I think that looks really good.
Let’s look at it before and after. You see how it’s softened it up, but it doesn’t look really, really unsharp. What we can do is zoom in at 100% and we can then have a look at the sharpness of the image and as you can see it’s pretty sharp. If we look at before and after, the sharpness is still there, but if you wanted a tad sharper, select your background layer, your bottom layer and then just go into filter, sharpen, smart sharpen or unsharp mask which everyone you prefer and just play with the settings and I like radius at 1 pixel and then I play with my amount which is 100% as my default. And then, I just click and unclick the preview button and it gives that little crispiness in there that I like. So, I’m just going to say okay, and if we look at our original image and our final image, let’s zoom back and see the full image. So, before and after, we created that nice dreamy feel to it and that’s perfect. Now, we don’t need to adjust the saturation in this image, just the reds are pretty bright as it is and some images I might want to booze the saturation to get the proper Orton effect, but this one looks as is pretty good.
Now, the second way of doing it, all right let me just delete this top layer here and we’ll duplicate our layer again and we’ll apply our Gaussian blur again, blur, Gaussian blur, 20 pixels, and this time instead of reducing the opacity, what we’re going to be doing is simply going into our layer channels here and not channels, but layer modes and selecting overlay.
Now, for this image as you can see, if we look at before and after, it won't completely walk in the colors because it over saturated the colors. What we can do to bring that down actually the effects of that is so strong, so I’ll just bring it down a little bit maybe to 75% or so. I would go after that by selecting my layer, just going into image adjustments, hue saturation and then just bring that saturation down at the top layer until we got the desired saturation. Now, if we look at before and after, that has more of an Orton effect than the first one we did and the reds are slightly saturated, the background is contrasted which would be more proper to an Orton effect and all I did was change my layer, adjust my layer mode to overlay. You can also try soft light, it can create a different effect, maybe not as contrasted, not a big difference here.
Now, these are the two steps of doing it, but you don’t necessarily like I mentioned before have to do it on flowers, you can also do it on people it can be a nice one. Now, let me just close this image, bring up a people image, and let’s go right to it. Control J, filter, Gaussian blur, layer mode, overlay, boom nice effect, before and after. You might think it’s too strong in the colors, sometimes I think that the skin tones are too orangey, so again, into the image adjustments, hue saturation, I’ll bring that saturation down just a little bit to get rid of the oranges and click okay, then you got a really, really nice Orton effect going here. And I hope you enjoyed this video tutorial on how to create the Orton effect and we’ll see you next time. Bye, bye!