Meredith Blache

The Orton Effect - Using Photoshop

Technical Tutorial Published 9/24/13 Last updated on 2/28/20

Photographer Michael Orton created a soft, dreamy effect using film photograph and stacking negatives. The technique is still very popular today and can be recreated using Photoshop using layers. In this lesson you'll see how you can apply this effect to any image.


Students must already understand how manipulate layers and apply basic adjustment layers.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Photoshop Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your photos.

1-2 Hours

Access to an Image

Photoshop CS3 or higher

CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial
4 / 5 • 6 Ratings

Resources (1)

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Comments (7)

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Aziz Soubai

Posted on 6/21/18 2:41:45 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing your work

Meredith Blache

Posted on 10/17/13 4:56:18 PM Permalink

I did update this assignment. I noticed I did not specify to make sure you select the actual layer, not the adjustment layer when Applying Image. (also do make sure you select Screen) These were the two things my students missed.

Janis Henderson

Posted on 10/11/17 12:59:01 PM Permalink

Thank you for uploading this activity. :-)​

Christina Hauri

Posted on 10/2/13 2:53:14 AM Permalink

This looks great for a beginner Photoshop class. Thanks for sharing!

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on 9/24/13 5:27:53 PM Permalink

Great I will test it in an upcoming course and give some feedback… at a glance looks like a great guide.

Meredith Blache

Posted on 9/24/13 6:17:41 PM Permalink

Please let me know if you think there is a better way to deal with the second layer copy after adding the first adjustment layer. I think my instructions seem a little cumbersome right now.

Biju Vincent

Posted on 9/24/13 10:20:50 AM Permalink

Good effect. Useful in album designing.