I'm a huge fan of using actions in Photoshop as they can save you a number of keystrokes and time. I created a number of actions like saving for the web, watermark, proofing, etc... I've purchased a few like Totally Rad Action -- but when you can find some you like for free - then YEEEEEE HAAAAAWWW! I went to Action Central today to see if I could find a freebie action that I would fall in love with -- and YIPPEE KAI YAY, I came across the Orton action. Michael Orton developed this technique of combining two slides, one underexposed and sharp picture and another overexposed blurry picture. This combination produces a dreamy effect which is quite lovely.
I used the sign picture I did yesterday and used the Orton Effect (created by Jim Lewis (with help from Danny Raphael, Dave Jaseck, from a technique by Chris Empey) 6/21/2008) action from Action Central and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Here is the picture as I left it yesterday, along with the Ortonized picture.
If you'd like to check out Action Central for tons of other free Photoshop actions, then click on the title (Action Central) and you'll end up on their website.
Original before Orton action
After running the Orton action