Orton technique

Also known as “Orton imagery,” the technique invented by stock photographer Michael Orton in the 1970s. He used a tripod to take two slide photos of a scene, one underexposed and another overexposed and blurry; by superimposing the two slides, the resultant image gave the scene a glowing, ethereal, “otherworldly” effect.

There are ways of reproducing the Orton effect on digital images. There’s a Flickr Orton group and a “definitive tutorial.”

There are various ways to do this with open-source free software tools. All references to “orton” and “gimp”. [images]

See the Gimparoo! tutorial (an adaptation of a Photoshop tutorial) [more]

Chris Empey’s open source tutorial for emulating the Orton technique. [original]

Another Gimp tutorial.

There are also plugins, such as the orton effect plugin [example] but I’ve found, as with the fakelomo plugins, the hands-on image modifcation you can do yourself is better than the plugins almost all of the time.

Michael Orton’s book, Photographing Creative Landscapes: Simple Tools for Artistic Images and Enhanced Creativity

First published on March 8th, 2009 at 1:33 pm (EST) and last modified on March 8th, 2009 at 1:34 pm (EST).