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Author Topic: How to really enjoy photography  (Read 7473 times)
Michael Orton
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« on: September 03, 2011, 12:48:26 PM »
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 Carrying a camera has taken me on a wonderful journey. In the beginning I had no expectations or illusions, just what one might describe as an insatiable curiosty. That constant questioning took me in a lot of directions one of which was the creation of the Orton Effect , which you may or may not be familiar with. From there came opportunities, books and stock (Getty Images) which allowed me to actually make a living at photography doing pretty much landscape . So having walked this road, here goes.  1 / Get to know your tools , but at the same time keep it simple. ( With all the programs in my camera I use aperture priority/ manual 90 % ) 2 / See beyond the subject . eg. shadow, reflection , translucence, pattern, texture. 3/ See without your camera. I do this constantly. I cant stop! Keep an assignment board to remind yourself when you do see something to "revisit at the right time". 4/ When you look at other photogs work , go beyond and challenge yourself to make the image differently. What other choice might you make? 5/ Explore and make images for yourself , not an editor, not a judge, not a friend or spouse. This is yours !! I am back to this point myself at this time and thouroughly enjoying myself. It was time. 

This is a wonderful site , which I could have used  35 years ago!!     Michael Orton   www.michaelortonphotography.com
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John R
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011, 06:24:09 PM »
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Dear Michael Orton: I had no idea you were a fine photographer in your in your own right. I have heard of you but few people mentioned your name beyond your well known technique. It is a shame, because you are indeed a fine photographer and a fine maker of slide shows with your own musical compositions. Loved your shows and music, which I have just seen.

I never was able to sandwich and rephotograph two or more slides together, though I always longed to do so. PS has now made this almost unnecessary, but the effect of sandwiched slides sure seems more extraordinary and pronounced than digital. I agree with your advice and was away from photography for almost 20 years until the digital age. When I became active again, it is funny how I no longer sought to produce great images or landscapes, but rather to simply interpret and express what ever I am able to photograph. I too have discovered the wonder of making images with the "moving" camera for the last few years. I wish you the best and keep up the wonderful work, which shall not escape my attention again.

John R (JMR)
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 09:49:35 AM by John R » Logged
louoates
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 09:14:42 AM »
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Michael, love your work on your site. And great advice about not restricting yourself to traditional photographic image making.

Like John, I was away from photography for a long time, in my case from 1972 until about 1998 when I retired from the business world. I bought a used 35mm camera and lenses and decided to get back into photography. And I thought I'd start by building a darkroom similar to what I had back in 1972. So I attended a local camera club that included many members around my age and inquired about used darkroom equipment. They looked at me as if I was crazy. They all had attended the local junior college and took several Photoshop courses and they recommended that I do the same. So I did and continued to take digital imaging courses both in IL and AZ.

The toughest part of coming back into photography was breaking myself of all those learned pre-digital rules. As soon as I realized that taking pictures was just one step in creating art the whole process became much more exciting . I saw many of my painting artist friends working off snapshots of scenes and, whoa!, leaving out telephone poles. And they created trees that weren't in the snapshot at all! And wasn't that rock that was on the right in the snapshot now in the center?

I still like to photograph the grand landscapes, especially in Arizona. But much of my work now is taking bits and pieces of new and old images and using them in a totally different context.

For me the entire world of photography has morphed into what many call digital art. A far more interesting and exciting place.
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Justan
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 11:43:56 AM »
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Hi Michael,

First, thanks for joining the forum! I've come to learn that there are many really, really good artists here that have chosen photography as their medium. Due to this, this site is a fabulous place to learn and share. I hope you’ll become a regular contributor.

I've wanted to learn something about the techniques you developed but have so far have been unsuccessful at finding a good guide. I admit that I haven’t looked much further than some of the tutorials found on the web and also within the few books I have on photographic techniques and processing. Do either of the books you list at your web site “Photographing Creative Landscapes” or “Once Upon An Island” cover some of the techniques you created?

But what I’d like to know is how did you come to develop the techniques that have in many ways transformed photography?

Thanks for your time and your singular contributions to photography!
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 12:57:04 PM »
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I, too, invented an effect. It's called the Kimmerle Effect, which is a method of taking an interesting and compelling subject matter and turning it into a dull and void photograph. As far as I can tell from perusing the web, it's more widely used than the very cool Orton Effect. Smiley

Keep an assignment board to remind yourself when you do see something

So true. I am sure I've forgotten hundreds of ideas by simply relying on memory.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 01:02:11 PM by ckimmerle » Logged

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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Michael Orton
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 01:25:22 PM »
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Hi  Justan, Always nice to hear from someone either " outside of box" or looking for a path to get there. When I received my first camera as a gift at age 34, my first influences , along with the prominent photographers at the time , were the local artists where I live. I attended their club meetings and began making simply out of focus images in an attempt to produce "watercolour like " images. Then I saw a technique using pen and ink and watercolours which was very popular within this art group. I was already making the "watercolour component and realized the "pen and ink" component could be created by overexposing my slide film enough to wash out the colour but leave the detail. Put the two together in one slide holder and you have it. Both images are overexposed , and so I would commonly bracket somewhat to get the best " match". I thank these ladies ( most in their late years) whenever I see them!  Once Upon an Island is a local book (Vanc Isl) and has my first "Ortons " in it.  Creative landscapes is about finding your own creative path and is not what I would call a technical "how to" book . It contains some insights into my own experience , and creative direction that some will connect with while some may not.  I believe creative potential is within anyone with the desire to explore it. Constant questioning and curiousity will take you places you may never have realized you could go. It sounds to me like you are ready for this journey.  Michael
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Michael Orton
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 02:09:53 PM »
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Hi Chuck,   Judging from the images on your site, I would say your "effect" has backfired!  Nice work! Michael
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Justan
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 10:59:42 AM »
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Hi  Justan, Always nice to hear from someone either " outside of box" or looking for a path to get there. When I received my first camera as a gift at age 34, my first influences , along with the prominent photographers at the time , were the local artists where I live. I attended their club meetings and began making simply out of focus images in an attempt to produce "watercolour like " images. Then I saw a technique using pen and ink and watercolours which was very popular within this art group. I was already making the "watercolour component and realized the "pen and ink" component could be created by overexposing my slide film enough to wash out the colour but leave the detail. Put the two together in one slide holder and you have it. Both images are overexposed , and so I would commonly bracket somewhat to get the best " match". I thank these ladies ( most in their late years) whenever I see them!  Once Upon an Island is a local book (Vanc Isl) and has my first "Ortons " in it.  Creative landscapes is about finding your own creative path and is not what I would call a technical "how to" book . It contains some insights into my own experience , and creative direction that some will connect with while some may not.  I believe creative potential is within anyone with the desire to explore it. Constant questioning and curiousity will take you places you may never have realized you could go. It sounds to me like you are ready for this journey.  Michael

Thank you for sharing the story of the origins of the Orton effect! It’s amazing what timing and the willingness to try can do for someone. I've had a few occasions where someone made a suggestion at the right time, and that, and some non-trivial efforts has lead to some realllllly good success stories.

Both the books sound interesting. I noted that “Once Upon and Island” is out of print. Any suggestions where a copy may be found??

In the not too distant past, I've followed a couple of guides I've found on doing Orton or “dreamy” effect as it’s sometimes called, but haven’t been happy with the results. Typically if I can get a handle on something by way of illustration I can take the concepts a long way, but this one has eluded me so far.

By the way, there are 2 talented practitioners of your techniques on this site. One goes by the name of John R (he posted on this thread). Here’s a recent example of his awesome work. And another is Dwayne Oaks. Here is an example of his wonderful work. I mention these to show the amount of influence you’ve had, (as if you needed a reminder).

The 6th of September will go down a good day for me. Not only did I have the opportunity to exchange with you, but learned that some of my panos will be in 2 local galleries (Seattle) in the near future and some other galleries in fairly high volume tourist areas have expressed a strong interest. Thanks for your contribution to my good day!
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Peter_DL
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 02:10:33 PM »
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I believe creative potential is within anyone with the desire to explore it. Constant questioning and curiousity will take you places you may never have realized you could go.

Deep truth.

Newbie, Beginners forum ... huch.

I'd like to ask, if I may, what motivated you to join / to post & share at this point of time.
Not that it would really matter with regard to the superb work e.g. on your website, just out of interst

Best regards, Peter

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CarolineS
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2011, 03:47:28 AM »
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Hi Michael,
Thank you for your wise words, I think they're good for us all to remember not just beginners:)

I've dabbled with 'creative' techniques over the years and although I knew of the 'Orton' effect had not seen any of your images until now, yes I must live under a stone!  
I just wanted to say that I ordered your book immediately and it arrived in less than 24 hours.  I strongly urge anyone wanting to take their photography to a different level but not quite knowing how to read this book, the words are as inspirational as the images.

I've just reached page 19 and see Freeman Patterson's name - I collected his books some years ago and still value them above all others, but now yours will be on a par!  He came to the UK a few years back with Andre Gallant and did a workshop and presentation.  I was able to attend the latter and meet him in person.  I have always longed to go on one of his workshops at his home.....maybe one day.

Best wishes,
Caroline

« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 04:45:06 AM by CarolineS » Logged
Michael Orton
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2011, 11:08:54 AM »
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Hello Peter,
This is a wonderful question . Why am I doing this?  Years ago one of the most fulfillng experiences for me was the response of audiences attending the slide / music evenings in theatre venues. Many of the attendees were not photographers and I still hear to this day from people who remembered those shows. When last winter Mary and I finally created a digital version , (Earth Symphony slideshow), I felt I wanted to "put it out there" . Offering and receiving inspiration  is important to the creative cycle.
I found Luminous via Alain Briot , via Darwin Wigget and perhaps I could have posted in "landscape" .   All the best,  Michael

       www.michaelortonphotography.com
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Michael Orton
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2011, 11:28:15 AM »
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Hello Justan ,  "Once Upon an Island " is available used on Amazon .  Great news about the prints . Getting into galleries is a big step . Enjoy it.  All the best, Michael
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2011, 12:41:17 PM »
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... the creation of the Orton Effect...

Just wondering... how different is your effect from the one by my favorite photographer, Ernst Haas, described in detail in his book "The Creation", published in 1971 (the images themselves were actually taken in the early 60's)?

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Slobodan

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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2011, 01:37:42 PM »
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... I felt I wanted to "put it out there" . Offering and receiving inspiration  is important to the creative cycle.

www.michaelortonphotography.com

Many thanks for your comment, Michael.

In some way it helped us to straighten the mind to the Art part again
(vs. conscious analysis & deductive digital pixel math).

Best regards, Peter


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but originate in insights that are beyond the reach of conscious analysis." Kenichi Ohmae
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 02:51:43 PM by Peter_DL » Logged
Michael Orton
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2011, 12:37:19 PM »
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Hi Slobodan,

Thank you for your question.

Slide sandwiches and double exposures in various configurations have been used for a very long time by many photographers, and this fact is often pointed out when the "Orton Effect" is discussed. To my surprise, the "Orton Effect" was a term that fellow photographers and publications branded my work with over the years. The term seems to have taken on a mind of its own - as evidenced by the number of discussion forums, Flickr groups and software actions/plugins where you can find the term being used. Needless to say I was very honored by this designation.

After reading your post, I took some time to browse through the Haas images on the Getty Images website. Looking at the Haas description (that you posted), the technical execution and creative direction I have taken with the technique are different (as are the directions taken by other photographers that use it). If you have any questions about the technical aspects of my work or its origins, details are on my website at, www.michaelortonphotography.com

Regards,
Michael
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2011, 02:19:21 PM »
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... To my surprise, the "Orton Effect" was a term that fellow photographers and publications branded my work with over the years. The term seems to have taken on a mind of its own...

To my surprise too... just goes to prove the saying: "New is a well forgotten old".
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Slobodan

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« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2011, 05:02:11 AM »
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No "Blagojevic effect" ?
Sorry for you.

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2011, 08:30:46 AM »
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... Sorry for you.

Huh!? Why?
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Slobodan

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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2011, 07:39:28 PM »
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Thankyou very much for the tips, those are really good for all of us who are just beginning. Keep up the good work!
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