Dirck Gulick House, House, Field

I recently learned about a landscape photography technique called the “Orton Effect”. The Orton Effect is a post-processing technique has been around for about thirty years that has become a trend. The technique is used to add a subtle (and sometimes not too subtle) glow to photographs. The technique creates an image that is simultaneously sharp and out-of-focus. The resulting image can be difficult to analyze or describe.

The Orton Effect is the creation of abstract landscape photographer Michael Orton who used it extensively in his film photography. The effect can be quite easy to reproduce with a DSLR and Adobe Photoshop. Here’s how.

Dirck Gulick House, House, Field
Original Image

screenshot, photoshop, Orton effect
Open your image in Photoshop and duplicate the layer:
screenshot, photoshop, Orton effect
Select the top layer, and from the Photoshop menu, click Image and then Apply Image.
screenshot, photoshop, Orton effect
For the “Apply Image” blending mode, click “Screen” and then hit enter.
screenshot, photoshop, Orton effect
Duplicate this new layer, then click the “Multiply” blending mode. In the Photoshop menu, click Filter, then Blur, then Gaussian Blur.
screenshot, photoshop, Orton effect
Adjust the blur radius to suit your taste.
screenshot, photoshop, Orton effect
Merge the two top layers (Command+e on macOS or Control+e in Windows) and create a mask to decrease or increase the Orton Effect in different portions of the image.

The Orton Effect darkens the shadows of a photo. You may want to adjust the exposure or shadow slider in Lightroom. The result of applying a heavy Orton effect to the original image.

Dirck Gulick House, House, Field
Exaggerated Orton effect.

rue anemone, flower, sourland mountain
  • Aperture—ƒ/16
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—14 April, 2017
  • Copyright—© 2017 Khürt L. Williams
  • Focal length—48mm
  • ISO—800
  • Shutter speed—1/125s

Over the weekend I went hiking in the Sourland Mountain Preserve and observed numerous wildflowers along the trail. The flower in the post header is rue anemone. Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) is a herbaceous perennial native to woodland in eastern North America.

Once again I used the Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set DG but mounted my AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I used the 36mm extension tube for most of the shots. With this extension tube and the lens at 48mm, the macro ratio is 1:1.03.

It was difficult to get these shots despite using a Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod. There was a slight breeze and I had to be patient. It was a sunny day but the leafless trees created shadows. After tweaking in Adobe Lightroom, I imported the image into Nik’s Dfine 2 to remove ISO noise. The image seemed a bit bright to me so I applied a Fuji Velvia 100 preset, and set the exposure slider to -1.66.

For this macro challenge, I could not decide which photo to submit for the challenge. I chose this image because I like the colour and the flower petals.

You can see the entire album on Flickr.

Macro Moments was created by avid macro photographer, Susan Gutterman, to share the beauty of macro photography and learn from other photographers. A new challenge begins on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. The winner’s photo may be featured on her blog and used as the banner in the announcement for the next challenge.

Macro Moments Challenge #35 by Susan Gutterman (Musin' With Susan)
It’s good to be back. March had five Wednesdays, so it’s been three weeks since the last challenge posted! Congratulations to justpat1 of https://pitammm.wordpress.com/ for submitting the winning entry to Challenge #34.

lichen, spring, sourland mountain

Macro Moments was created by avid macro photographer, Susan Gutterman, to share the beauty of macro photography and learn from others photographers. A new challenge begins on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. The winner’s photo may be featured on her blog and used as the banner in the announcement for the next challenge.

Susan Gutterman has invited me to participate in here bi-weekly Macro Moments photography challenge. If I may paraphrase Susan, Macro Moments is a place to share the beauty of macro photography and learn from each other. A new challenge begins on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Susan announces the winner from the previous challenge when posting the new challenge. The winner’s photo may be featured on her blog and used as the banner in the announcement for the next challenge.

The theme is Spring has Sprung. That coincides well with my Spring post from Sunday. That post was an entry for the weekly theme-based challenge by Frank Jansen.

I mostly shoot on the weekends. Weekdays I am occupied with work. We have had one sunny day this week and I captured some images of the crocus poking through the dirt. It was windy yesterday and I had a real struggle with my small subject vibrating in the wind. Hopefully, I’ll have something worthy to post before April 4th.

I had hoped to share a new photo but … spring has only just begun in this area. Two weeks ago, snow storm Stella dumped about eight inches of snow in the Princeton area. There is still ice and snow on the ground but I expect that today’s rain will melt the rest of that.

The photograph I am sharing today was taken in April of 2016. I was on a hike in the Sourland Mountains in Hopewell, New Jersey. The hike was hosted by the Sourland Conservancy. I had just bought a set of Kenko auto-extension tubes and used the hiking opportunity to practice.

A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms.Lichen on Wikipedia

The challenge for me when shooting this lichen is that they were often found in damp areas of the woods, and low to the ground. This sometimes precluded the use of a tripod. But includd soiling my clothing. This patch of lichen was on a log which had fallen among the leaves and ground cover. Using the tripod was difficult. It was hard to get low down without kneeling in mud and wet leaves. I opted to shoot handheld in aperture priority mode. I used my AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX at f/8 using my Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash to provide additional light. My goal was to capture both gametophytes (the low, leaf-like forms) and sporophytes (the tall, stalk-like forms).

Since I started shooting macro with the Kenko extension tubes, I have discovered that the AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.8G is better for shooting macro that the AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX. The 35mm focal point is so close to the lens that I risk scratching the glass. The 85mm puts the focal point about half a meter from the front of the lens.

So, yesterday while getting some coffee beans at a Buy the Cup in Rocky Hill, I stopped to capture some macro photos. The blossoms were just starting to bud. I had my camera with me and snapped this image. I think it represents the topic. Spring has sprung.

Cherry Blossom Macro

Montgomery Township, New Jersey, United States of America