Photography Project 52: Week 33 – The Orton Effect

I’ve seen write-ups on the Orton Effect, or digital sandwich, but always managed to find an excuse not to try it… have to remember to take two exposures, one focused and one not, then combine, blah, blah, blah.  Well, after reading the 100th blog post on this technique, it was time to buckle down and give it a try.

This technique creates a “glow” especially with whites.  It is often used on flowers, but I decided to try some other subjects too.  If you aren’t familiar with the technique  or would like more information you can google it, and approximately 3.6 million results will be returned.  I will summarize the technique I used. The first image is “Before” the second is “After” so you can get a sense of the effect.

I tried two different techniques:  the first was to take two exposures in camera and then sandwich them.  The second was to take one detailed exposure then create a copy of it in Photoshop that was slightly blurred.  I like the results using the second technique better:

  1. Make a photograph with an aperture between F16 and F22 (whichever will give you the sharpest image
  2. In Photoshop, duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to Screen.  Then flatten.
  3. Copy this layer.
  4. Apply the blur:  Filter–> Blur —> Gaussian Blur.  I used approximately 25 in the images below
  5. Change the blend mode on the blurry layer to Multiply
  6. Change the opacity for the desired amount of effect
  7. Sometimes I would add Brightness and Contrast

Here are my favorite picks from this week (you will see the “Before” image in this set – I still can’t figure out how to delete it from my Gallery).  To see a larger size, click on any image to enter screen show mode.

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