How to Use the Orton Effect as a Street Photographer

In the world of editing photos, many techniques have developed over the years in order to create certain distinctive effects in images. Many such techniques have come and gone but only a few have been able to leave an impact and withstand the test of time. One of such successful effects is the Orton Effect which is quite popular among landscape photographers. In this video, photographer Roman Fox shows you how you can apply the effect to street photos:

“It’s a technique where you use different versions of the same image, combine them, blend them together to create one final piece.”

The basic idea is to blend a sharp and properly exposed image with its two variations: a blurred out variation, and a high contrast blurred out variation. Using Photoshop, these three images can be tweaked to form a single image with an interesting soft and glowing effect. For street photography, this technique works best with images that have a high amount of detail and a bright light source.

If you have a certain image that you’d like to try the Orton Effect on, open it up and follow along with Fox. Using Photoshop, he elaborately explains what you need to do. Basically, you’ll start with the ‘Gaussian Blur’ filter to create the blurred out variation of the image. Then, using the ‘Levels’ tool, enhance the highlights in the image to the point where they blow out. With the variations in place, you can play around with the opacity, and blend modes to get the final effect. You can either apply the effect globally, or use a mask to control where you want it to be applied.

If you work with videos and would like to apply this effect to your photos, Fox also explains towards the end of this video how you can do it. Be sure to follow along if you want to try it out.

Let us know if you’ve tried Orton Effect when editing your photos. How do you like it?

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