December 27, 2009

Photoshop Elements Tip - Orton Effect

Now that things have settled down a bit after our recent house sale and move, we have more time to play with our digital images and discover new web resources for information.

For example, Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics provides some very nice tutorials. One technique really caught my eye: the orton effect.  This effect is named after photographer Michael Orton, who blended two images of an identical scene, but with difference exposures and sharpness.

rustic red barn near Mt. Lebanon Shaker Village, NY

The photo I took of this red barn is lovely. But application of an orton effect gives it a nice surreal quality.

rustic barn with the orton effect

Using an adjustment layer, I also desaturated the image to give it an antique feel.

rustic red barn with orton effect and slightly desaturated

I hope that this gives you a little inspiration to try the technique out on your photos!


  1. I love both images. I would love to go there and see the barn!!!! xxxRobby

  2. WOW! That is so cool!
    I am looking to upgrade from my sweet little Kodak point and shoot digital that I have used for 4 years now. I have been itching to get another camera, but finances are SO tight here,(very little work for a sub contractor here in Michigan) I have not been able to even think about it. The kids all gave me $ for Christmas, so I am starting a bit of research. I have a friend who has a used Canon digital for sale, and I am waiting for more info on that. What I would LOVE is a Canon Rebel....what are your thoughts?

  3. Amazing at the different effects you can get....the photo is absolutely lovely. Don't you just love old barns?
    p.s. I found you through ROBBY!


  4. Lordy, these All are beautiful Donna!! Hope your holiday was Wonderful!!!hughugs

  5. It is wonderful... That photo looks as if it belongs on stationery or on a wall in a wonderful frame. Very pretty!

  6. Interesting does look like an antique painting..but your photo looks the best IMHO. (How does one improve a perfect picture that looks like you are standing there in person soaking in it's beauty?) I am in awe of your photographic skills!

  7. Hi Donna,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the tips and sharing of ideas. I liked your formatting tip for wider main column from a few posts ago. I finally had a chance to apply what I learned from you. Keep 'em coming!

  8. i got a new little camera and i'm just figuring out what 80% of it means....but when i do...i'm heading off to these tutorials! thanks. you have a FAB photo in any effect or filter!

  9. WOW! I'm not sure how I came across your blog -- but I am so happy I found you! What wonderful photography! I got a Nikon D3000 for Christmas but because Best Buy taped the box shut with the message: "15% restocking fee if this tape is broken" we took it back the next day! I couldn't even open it to see if I liked it! Anyhow, more research on cameras... I would love to know what kind/model of camera you use! Thank you -- keep up the good work!

  10. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments! I was surprised at how easy it was to achieve this technique. And with a scene like that, how can you take a "bad" picture, LOL.

    Sister Patty - I used a Nikon D70 for capturing this barn image, outfitted with a Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens with vibration reduction. Earlier in the year, I got a Nikon D90. I love both cameras and highly recommend them. DH is a retired pro and only uses Nikon equipment. The best place to get new equipment if from B&H Photo in NY ( Great service & prices. Been doing business with them for decades.

  11. That's beautiful Donna! I love the dreamy effect. One of my favorites when I played with my pics more was a BUZZ filter. It gave a painterly effect. I can;t find it online now. :(

  12. Beautiful picture! It looks like I have a lot to catch up on. Congratulations on the sale of your home. I didn't realize you guys were having a home built...what fun! Keep us posted! Happy New Year to you and yours ~

  13. I was just browsing around and ended up here and the barn photos are outstanding Donna. All of them.

    Why does PhotoShop scare me LOL?

  14. i wanna be there..
    awesome photography-
    hope you had a great christmas
    and a happy day today :))


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!