“The Orton Effect” – Diving further into the post-production rabbit hole

The “Enchanted Forest” look

Ever heard of The Orton Effect?

Well, neither had I until I jumped down this rabbit-hole to study some advanced post-production techniques.

In short, it’s that soft, dream-like quality you see in some photographs (apparently developed by a Canadian photographer who sandwiched transparency film together in the 1980’s). It’s a fairly simple six-step process in Photoshop that you can make as obvious or as subtle as you like.

For your interest, here’s the “before” and “after” of the Ethiopian mountain forest pic I ended up with after a 10 minute fiddle on the computer (bear in mind, it may be a bit difficult to recognise the effect on pics this size).

Before (Raw File) and After (Finished pic)

I think this technique has limited application in tourism photography but, as I wrote at the beginning of this excursion, I like the idea of having a broad repertoire of techniques to draw from in post-production.

That said – like capturing the actual photograph in the first place – the skill in using any of these “tricks of the trade” lies in knowing when to apply them (and – just as importantly – when to leave them out).

If you’re interested in learning the technique, subscribe to my blog and drop me an e-mail. I’ll send you the bookmarked links I’m using as reference.

Next up: Hmmmmm, maybe playing with light beams before I head off to Western Australia on assignment.

David’s personal blog

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.



E-mail: david@kirklandphotos.com

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