"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Using The “Orton” Method For Artistic Blending

© 2004 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

magbridge1blog.jpgIf you want a bit of fun, a chance to perk up some of those photos and to simply try something different, try this method here for a touch of that “painterly” look. It gives some of the photos you may work on a touch of softness, rich colors in some areas, and maybe something that you have been looking for to add to your bag of tricks.
I have found that this method works extremely well with landscapes, and I have also been experimenting using this method with some of the macro type shots that I have on hand.

The images you see here were created with a digital camera, and worked with in Photoshop CS using the “Orton” method.
Simple and easy to do.

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

241_4116c1blog.jpg*Open up Photoshop and select a image you would like to use.
*Then, go to “Image”, then down to “Duplicate”.
*Now delete your original so you will not make any mistakes with your original photo.
*Go to “Image”, then click on “Apply Image”.
*The “Apply Image” box will appear.
*Set the blending to “Screen”, and your opacity to 100%. Click Okay button.
*Go again to “Image”, down to “Duplicate”.
*With the image you have just duplicated, go to “Filter”, down to “Blur-Gaussian Blur”.
*Set the blur anywhere from 20 to 50. Click okay button.
*Using your “move tool”, grab the blurred image and drag it on top of your first image and placing it evenly on top. (the image with details)
*Open your “layers” box by going to “Windows”, down to “Layers”.
*In that layers box, set the blending mode from “normal” to “multiply”.
*You can now make some adjustments with levels/curves/sharpening/etc. while switching back and forth between your background layer and your other layer.
*When happy with what you see, flatten your image by going to “Layer”, then down to “Flatten”.
*Then, ……… save your masterpiece!

© 2004 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

162_6294bcopy13nsnp1.jpgAdmittedly, some images do work better than others. You just have to experiment.With landscapes, it does seem to be easier to do while using this method.
With any type of macros, and having a smooth/clean background, you can see a type of blurred halo around your subject. Less noticeable halos occurr when the background has more details.

It is something that is fun to do, and thought I would share it with you guys.
Back to work for me, … so everyone take good care of yourselves!!


(This post does not have the original “Blogger” comments, as they would not automatically transfer when the move was made to “WordPress”.)


“Macro Art In Nature” – Website


April 12, 2006 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, Blogroll, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, gems, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, lapidary, life, macro, Macro Photographer, minerals, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, rock hound, rocks, slabs, Wildlife | , , , , ,


  1. […] Continue Reading » […]

    Pingback by Using The “Orton” Method For Artistic Blending » | February 3, 2007

  2. I am not quite understanding why I have to duplicate my duplicate and apply the glausen blur and then overlay it back on the first duplicate.

    What does this allow me to do…it seems like any change that I make on either of them, the same thing happens so why not just apply the glausen blur on the first duplicate and then mess around with the layer??

    I can’t get close to getting mine to look like the nut one of yours where seemingly some is blured and the nut portion is very detailed but would love to get there…

    Thanks for any help you may offer…


    Comment by JEremy | March 27, 2007

  3. Take a look at the Orton group for methods using different photo software. Someone even figured out how to use Picasa!

    This thread has a video tutorial for a method that gives you much more control over the effect. The method above applies the effect over the entire picture, and there are many cases where a more careful application of the effect is needed.


    Comment by someotherbob | April 10, 2007

  4. Thanks Bob!
    Will certainly take a look at that later today.
    Looks interesting, … and helpful!

    Comment by macroartinnature | April 10, 2007

  5. […] S’anomena “l’efecte Orton“. Les instruccions les vaig trobar aquí, però són per a l’Adobe Photoshop. Les vaig adaptar al Gimp i aquest n’és el […]

    Pingback by [des]enfocada » El Gimp en apunts: L'efecte Orton | June 12, 2007

  6. […] Orton Method by Michael Brown. […]

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  8. […] various compositions, and playing with the blurred backgrounds. A ever so slight touch of the “Orton Method” was used with this image, giving it a overall softness that I […]

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  9. […] Tässä vielä Michael Brownin tutoriali ortonista. […]

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  10. […] first technique is Michael Brown’s Orton method for boosting colours. This easy technique containing only a couple of steps in Photoshop provides […]

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  11. […] are other ways to take an image from ordinary photograph to standout. One of my favorites is the Orton effect, which is simple to do and can add a dreamy glow and deepen the colors. This works well on high key […]

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