Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Desert Heather...ala Orton

I still am always amazed how much easier and faster it is to create with a pc vs silver based material. Orton wasn't that hard of a process, but it was time consuming getting the color balanced and exposures down when trying to print through doubled up slide film. Adobe's CS5 makes it all the easier.

As a refresher Orton was a guy back in the 70 who would do two shots of the same subject on slide film. One was razor sharp and perfectly exposed, the other was out of focus and over-exposed. The two were sandwiched together and printed resulting in a very surreal in focus/out of focus with artifically saturated colors.

To achieve this in Adobe the process is similar in theory. You take one sharply focused and exposed file. You open it and duplicate a layer labeling it "Background copy".

With that copy you go to Image>Adjustments>Exposure and increase your exposure by a factor of 1-2.0 so you "blow out" or lose all highlight detail. Got to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and increase the saturation by a factor of 10-30 depending on how the changes look to you.

The next step is go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and chose pixel range of 10-25 depending on the amount of blur you need. Less if you have an already blurred background, more if you don't.

The final step is go to the adjustments box on the side margin and select "Multiply" as your blending option.

There you go a few simple steps for recreating the look and feel of the old silver based "Orton effect" images.

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