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Thank You Michael Orton

Published in Kitchens' Sink by Kevin L. Kitchens on January 18, 2007 16:35

If you've never seen or heard of the (Michael Orton) technique, prepare for a treat. It works best on nature or landscape photos more than people shots... but who knows. The digital darkroom is all about creativity, so learn the tools and apply them as you see fit.

First, some before and after shots:









Essentially what you're doing is taking your original (or post-processed) photo, creating a brighter version, then merging that with a gaussian blurred version.

Thanks to NaturePhotographers.net for the article and nudging me in the right direction. The instructions there are for PhotoShop, so I had to adapt to PSPXI, but I think the results are still pretty darn similar.

For PSPXI:

  • Duplicate your original image, SHIFT-D so no harm comes to the original.

  • On the layers pallette, select Duplicate Layer. Change the mode of this new layer to "Screen". Leave opacity at 100.

  • Merge the layers (flatten).

  • SHIFT-D to duplicate the new, brighter image.

  • On this image, do Adjust | Blur | Gaussian Blur... Set the Radius to between 25 and 50. I use the Preview on Image option to see what looks best. Close this dialog.

  • CTRL-A to select the entire new, blurred image. CTRL-C copies to clipboard.

  • Click on the bright, non blurred image. CTRL-L to paste as new layer.

  • In the layers pallette, select the second layer and set the mode to multiply.

  • Merge the layers (flatten).

  • Save your new image (if you like it).


What a great technique that produces some really nice effects.

Keywords: orton  tip  photoshop  paint shop pro  digital darkroom  
Last Updated by: on December 03, 2008 16:58
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