Tool tips: The Luminar Orton Effect is a way to combine an ethereal soft focus ‘glow’ with sharp detail in a way that goes beyond ordinary soft focus techniques. This is how it works in Skylum Luminar.
Soft focus effects are popular in portrait photography but they can also work well in landscapes and other kinds of imagery where you want to create a romantic, ethereal look.
There are many different ways of creating a soft focus look. In a regular image editor like Photoshop or Affinity Photo, you can combine a blurred image layer with the original using blend modes and layer opacity, for example, but if you're using all-in-one editing/effects programs like Luminar, ON1 Photo RAW or Alien Skin Exposure, you'll find soft focus tools built in.
Alternatively, you can use a plug-in suite like the DxO Nik Collection, which has a multitude of ways of adding a soft focus or glow effect to your pictures.
Try this soft focus effect on landscapes
You normally associate soft focus effects with portraits, but they can work on all kinds of images, adding a romantic, dreamy feel to an everyday scene. Landscapes, for example, are often given a dramatic, brooding look when sometimes the emotion we feel is much lighter. Here’s an example. This tree-lined avenue felt bright, airy and […]
See the world in infra red
Infra red photography creates an unusual and surreal view of the world that can also be very beautiful. You can do it in black and white or colour, but the techniques used today with digital cameras are rather different to those used with film. Infra red film photography is relatively straightforward – you simply use […]
It’s all very well giving advice about how to achieve certain effects using this software or that software, but it always strikes me that no-one ever talks about WHY you should use a particular effect with a particular subject. Books and magazines are very tied up with the mechanics of photography but rarely stray into […]
Give your landscapes a mystic glow with the Color Efex Pro Glamour Glow effect
The Color Efex Pro Glamour Glow effect would normally be used on portraits, but I think it works rather well on other subjects too. It adds an ethereal glow to everyday subjects, gives colours a pure, rich depth and lets you shift the colour balance too. I’m going to use it on this autumn shot […]