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The “Orton” Effect

Many of us buy expensive lenses and go to extremes to achieve pin-sharp images of landscapes. Others experiment with various effects, one of them being the “Orton” effect, and produce interesting results. However, is this effect worth experimenting with? David Hay has the story.

Many years ago, I saw an image in an American photographic magazine that stopped me in my tracks; it had a magical “glowing” effect that I had never seen before. A bit of detective work revealed that it was a technique pioneered by the photographer Michael Orton, which involved sandwiching two pieces of slide film, one in focus and the other out of focus.

This was long before Photoshop was even a gleam in the eye of its developers. Back then, any special effects had to be done with filters in front of the lens or variations in processing the film, such as cross-processing.

When the “Orton” effect was done properly, the resulting image showed a...

Read this article, and many more, in High Definition, inside Issue 22 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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