All You Want to Know about Orton Effect – What It Is and How to Use

Last Updated on November 28, 2022 by Peter Wood

When you need to apply some magic effect to photos, the Orton effect is the desired effect you can apply. It is one of the most frequently 80s photo filters for landscapes. Similar to HDR photography, it is a combination of multiple photos with different exposures. Instead of combining different photos, the Orton effect only works for images taken via HDR mode.

This article explains the definition, usage, and alternative of the Orton effect. You can know more about this photo effect in detail. No matter you want to create a dreamy look with the Orton effect or not, here are some useful tips you should know.

How to Use Orton Effect

Part 1: What is the Orton Effect

The Orton effect is a glow added to landscape photography. It is a photo effect in film photography. By combing two different images together, you can add the Orton effect to make your picture sharp and blurry. One photo is overexposed, while the other is out of focus. In other words, you can add a soft glow effect around high contrast areas. Thus, the light can spill over into the shadow areas properly. The light glows and shadows can make your landscape pictures look like films.

Instead of combining two layers or two images, you can also use some photo editors to apply the Orton effects for one image only to get a distinctive mix of high and low detail areas. Moreover, there are multiple analog films and stunning filters that you can apply with one click.

Orton Effect Landscape

Part 2: When to Apply the Orton Effect

If you want to make a dream-like landscape photo, you can soften the image with the Orton effect. You can see almost one-third of Orton effect images in many photography forums and platforms. Landscape photographers overuse the Ortan style. Since most landscape images look similar, you need to avoid the Orton effect mistakes carefully. Here are dos and dons when you need to apply the Orten effect.


1. High comparison between the light parts and the dark parts in photos.

2. Provide stunning effects for illuminated vegetation and Tyndall effects.

3. Apply a warm glow with a color temperature of highlights and mid-tones.


1. Difficult to apply the Orten effect for portrait images, action photos, etc.

2. Tweak the different exposures for the same photo is time-consuming.

3. Need to tweak the details carefully, or else photos will be over-exposed.

Orten Effect Light

Part 3: How to Create an Orton Effect Using Photoshop

Photoshop is the best photo editor to intimate the Orton Effect. It enables you to apply different exposures to the same photo, tweak the light lenses, and even combine HDR photos. Moreover, you can also adjust the opacity, balance the colors, and more. Here is the detailed process of how to apply Orton effects to photos with Photoshop.

Step 1: Open Photoshop on your computer and click the Open button from the File menu to import your picture and apply the basic edits, and right-click on the background layer. Choose Duplicate Layer to create a duplicate layer in Photoshop.

Duplicate Layer Photoshop

Step 2: From the Filter drop-down menu, choose the Blur option followed by Gaussian Blur. Set a radius value between 2 and 3 in the popping-up dialog. You can preview the blurred effect in this small window. Click the OK button to save changes and move on.

Add Gaussian Blur Photoshop

Step 3: Choose the Adjustment menu in the Levels tab from the Image menu. Select the Increase Contrast 1 option from Preset. Moreover, you can also enter detailed values for Input Levels and tweak the slider of Output Levels in the Levels panel.

Adjust Levels for Orton Photoshop

Step 4: To apply the Orton effect to your photo, you can click the duplicated layer and choose the Create Clipping Mask button on the lower-left corner of the window. Once you have applied the adjustments to the layer, you can find the exposed photo.

Create Clipping Mask Photoshop

Step 5: Adjust the Opacity to the blurred layer based on your need. You can preview the Orton Effect darken the shadows of this picture. After that, you can click the layer and choose the Overlay option from the Blending Options option before saving the photo with the Orton effect.

Apply Layer Style Photoshop

Part 4: How to Apply Orton Effect for Landscapes and Portraits with AI

The Orton Effect is a common photography technique that creates a mix of high and low detail areas. If you want to explore other classic film presets, tweak the light lenses, or apply HDR filters, WidsMob AI Retoucher is the versatile photo filter maker with stunning Orton effects. Besides the filters, you can also use multiple AI algorithms, including AI retouching, AI portrait, AI face mosaic, AI style transfer, and more.

  1. Apply film analog effects, artistic effects, Orton effects, HDR filters, etc.
  2. Minimize image noise, recover low light, and remove haze automatically.
  3. Tweak HSL enhancements, color adjustments, vignetting, and others.
  4. Convert photos to cartoons, paintings, pencil sketches, and other styles.
Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Download and install WidsMob AI Retoucher, you can launch the program on your computer. Click the Import button to add the desired photo to the program. Moreover, you can also drag-n-drop multiple photos for a batch process.

Import Photo Retoucher

Step 2: Go to the Filter menu and choose the Vivid option, which is similar to the Orton effect. You can also choose soft light, dark light, LOMO, color negative film, black and white film, and more. Click the View menu and choose the B/A mode to have a comparison.

Orton Effect WidsMob Retoucher

Step 3: To further edit the Orton effect, you can click the Adjust menu and tweak multiple parameters, such as saturation, contrast, temperature, tint, sharpness, color tones, noise reduction settings, and others to get the desired effects.

Tweak HSL Enhancement Retoucher

Step 4: Before exporting your retouched picture, you can add film grains for the landscapes and beautify your portrait image with skin smoothening and whitening with AI algorithms. After that, you can save the photos to JPEG or TIFF format with the original image quality.

Note: Besides the basic JPEG/JPG file formats; you can also edit the RAW files. Just choose the desired filters, AI style transfer, editing tools, and others to get a satisfactory image.

Win Download Mac Download


Here is all about Orton Effect instruction, tutorial, and detailed process. You can create a dreamy and old-film look without too much effort. WidsMob AI Retoucher is a versatile method to touch up photos automatically with AI algorithms. Compares to Adobe Photoshop, you can manage all settings within one window and apply the different settings with one click.