michael orton | photography


Our Story

I am a husband, father, grandfather and photographer. A camera has been a part of me for a large part of my adult life and has taken Mary and I on a wonderful ride.

In 1992 Orca Book Publishers published our first book “Once Upon an Island” and as luck would have it, the owner of a stock agency found it in a bookstore in Seattle and our stock photography career began. We now license through Getty Images and Age Photostock.

Once Upon an Island contained some of my first painterly impressionistic images, which have since become referred to as “Orton Imagery” by other photographers. (I believe Darwin Wiggett started this reference). In the fall of 2011, Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 was released containing an "Orton Effect" guided action.

Early in my career I had begun working with a dissolve / projector / music presentations, allowing audiences to experience the combination of music and imagery in the theatre setting. Camera Canada and Abottsford Photographic Seminars, Okanagan School of the Arts. University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University Theater were some of the venues.

In 2000, “Photographing Creative Landscapes” was published by Amherst Media. This book presented a look at creativity as it pertains to photography from my own experience. At the heart of my path is what I refer to as the “inner conversation”, the flow of questions and answers that is the source of my responses and actions and the resulting images.

Now in 2011, rather than enter the book publishing market once again, Mary and I have chosen to present instead the unique experience of the presentations of “Earth Symphony” and our latest work, “Freedom”. I am blessed in having a gifted , giving partner who through all the years has given support in so many ways, and now in the design and implementation of this site and the presentations. We have made our home in Nanaimo BC Canada for the last 33 years, with our sons and their families close by.

Artist's Statement

Artist CV


Recommended for inspiration, information and workshop teaching, two of Canada's finest photographers:

Darwin Wiggett (Western Canada) - www.darwinwiggett.com

Garry Black (Eastern Canada) - www.garryblack.com

Photography.ca - Orton Effect - Podcast/Interview #67 with Marko Kulik
(Direct link to Podcast MP3)