Fairytale with the orton effect

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Legend TEAM
5 3
Apr 20, 2020
Hi all together,

let's start a new tutorial for those from you who loves to work with Photoshop!
This time we're talking about the orton effect which is really something special!

But what is it and where can I use it?

The orton effect was once designed to give the landscape photography a special fairytale look but can also be used for other pictures as well.


The left picture is the original version and the rigt one was post-processed with the orton effect.
It's more mystical and looks a little bit like a picture from a fairytale.

The effect depends (as always) from your settings! So convert your picture as a smartobject to change the parameter later on if needed.

So let's start!

Just open your desired picture as a smart object and adjust (if needed) the RAW settings.
See my last tutorial "Sharpening with the high pass filter" if you are not sure how to do this.

You can proceed after you've finished the basic setup for your picture by copy your picture twice (CTRL + J) or...


Mark copy 2 and set the layer mode to "screen". This will cause a sharp and overexposured look which we need later on.
After that mark copy 1 and copy 2 and merge them by pressing CTRL + E or press the right button on the marke layers...


The result should look like this..


Ok? Then let's proceed with the next steps!

Mark copy 2 and dublicate the layer again. Now mark copy 3 and use the gaussian blur filter with approximately 5-20px.
This value is one of the most important parameters for the strength of the effect! So test it and find the best solution for you!



Switch the layer mode from copy 3 to "multiply".


After that mark copy 3 (with the gaussian blur filter) and copy 2 and merge them again.
Last but not least set the opacity of the new layer to ~25%. That's all.

Play a little bit with the gaussian blur filter and the opacity to find the best solution for you!

Have fun!


P.S.: You can also combine the gaussian blur filter with a mask if you don't won't to have the blurry effect on the whole picture!