The Dooce Effect

by john on August 30, 2003

Whether this is of any interest to you depends on whether you like the second image better than the first. The first is the original photo of Connor playing in the sand at Ocean City, New Jersey. The second has been tweaked in Paintshop with a technique called the “Dooce Effect” that Heather Hamilton describes in That Lovely Glow Effect.


Original picture of Connor


Dooced picture of Connor

Heather described the steps using Photoshop but it’s pretty much the same for Paintshop:

  1. Open photo in Paintshop.
  2. Color correct photo as you choose. I normally use @Effects/Enhance Photo/Automatic Color Balance@.
  3. Duplicate the photo layer. @Layers/Duplicate@.
  4. Apply a “Gaussian Blur” filter. @Effects/Blur/Gaussian Blur@. Start with a radius of 5 and adjust as desired.
  5. Set the duplicated, blurred layer to “multiply.” @Layers/Properties@ then set @Blend Mode@ to @Multiply@.
  6. Brighten photo as desired. @Colors/Adjust/Brightness&Contrast@.
  7. Admire.

I’m still playing around with the amount of blur to apply for an optimal look. The more blur, the more glow – but it can get to be a little much. This one was done with a 7 pixel blur and I think the result is a picture that still looks real yet has a bit more body than the original.


Technically Speaking September 2, 2003 at 9:44 pm

The Dooce Effect.

This tip can make your pictures really stand out. John at John’s Jottings links to That Lovely Glow Effect. Heather Armstrong, aka Dooce, explains the technique that she learned from her husband. I have tried it for the first time…

cee September 24, 2004 at 1:11 pm

Thanks! I was wondering how to duplicate this effect in PSP…. now I can too!

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