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Orton Effect, Gimp tutorial

Gimp allows you fake the real Orton Effect very easily in few steps

Before after Orton effect

Orton effect is an effect that gives something "magic" to the photos. Everything gets a glowing aurea and a soft focus. With a few steps you will get the Orton effect with Gimp. This tutorial is specific for Gimp, but with a little bit of imagination you can adapt it to any other photo editing software.
For a good orton effect, first of all, you have to open any image, then duplicate twice the background layer (for a total of 3 layers). You just need to find the levels window (if you can't find it, try to press Ctrl+L), then right click on the background layer, and press Duplicate Layer, then repeat the operation another time.

Duplicate layer

Click The top level (Background-copy # 1), then selected as blending mode screen, and set the opacity to 80%. The image should appear brighter and even overexposed in some parts.
Now Merge Down the layer Background-copy # 1 with the lower level, you just need to Right click - Merge down.

second step for orton effect: merge down

Now you should have only two layers. Select the upper one (Background Copy), and blur it.
You just need to press Filters - Blur - Gaussian Blur. The size of the radius (in our case 10px) depends from the size of the picture, you should see the shapes, but not the details.

Gimp's gaussian blur.

Now select overlay and blending method, opacity to 100% and merge down.

Overlay blend method.

The result may be too dark for a realistic Orton effect, to solve this problem you can use the histogram to regulate the brightness, or adjust tones with the curves.

adjust tones with gimp histogram

The real Orton effect were made by blending two different photos, the first one overexposed of one f/stop, and a second one overexposed of two f/stop and really blurred. If you liked the Orton Effect you can also be interested in Soft Focus Tutorial.

Before after Orton effect

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