In my last article on photographing winter landscapes article, I tried to list a few useful tips for capturing the beauty of a winter landscape. Since I promised to elaborate more on my post-processing technique later on, I would like to do that in this article. To get the unique look of some photos, I use a “negative clarity” method that emulates the very well-known Orton effect. For the classical Orton effect, Adobe Photoshop or any other software with layer functionality is needed. How can we achieve something similar in Lightroom that does not require working with layers? Please keep in mind that what I will describe here is not a complete post-processing workflow. The negative clarity method that I developed for myself is rather the finishing step in the editing process, which can give a distinctive atmosphere to your image. So how does it work?
Have you heard of the Orton Effect? This post-processing technique has been around since the 1980s, if not earlier, but the trend has exploded tremendously in the past few years. If you haven’t heard of it, you aren’t alone – it only recently began to gain mainstream popularity. And yet, in some ways, the Orton Effect is swallowing the modern world of landscape photography. This is barely an exaggeration; after seeing the Orton Effect in practice, you should be able to spot it in at least a third of the trending 500px landscape photos, as well as many winning photo contest entries. This article covers all the basics of the Orton Effect, including a tutorial on how to implement it in your own images – and a discussion on why you may not want to do so.