Process: Harris Shutter Effect

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Process | One Comment

As the SVP of Industrial Design in Apple Inc, Sir Jony Ive, stated in the iPhone 5 introduction video, “When you think about the iPhone, it’s probably the most used object in your life.” Well, when I was working on this project in the summer of 2012, I was sporting a Samsung Galaxy SIII. Smartphones are made to be able to do so much these days, and I’m always on the lookout to make the most of my gadgets.

The project requirement was to take portrait photographs of people, and we had all the creative control that we wanted. Back then, I would’ve jumped at the opportunity to create studio portraits as I’ve never had the chance to do studio work. But one day, I whipped out my SIII and was browsing the ‘photography’ section in the Flipboard app and I saw this tutorial on how to recreate the Harris Shutter Effect:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 6.45.51 PM

I knew right away that my portraits had to look this radical. Studio photography could wait another day.

With the web article as instructions, I went out and got some friends to model for me. In this process post, let’s have a look at how I edited the photos of Aurore to create the Harris Shutter Effect. Aurore is one of the nicest and most talented student photographers I’ve ever known, and you’ll see her appearing in my work a lot.


Now that I had three photos of Aurore which I’m pretty satisfied with, I opened each image in Photoshop, selected the Channels layer, selected and copied a different channel from each photo, and pasted the three channels into a new Photoshop document. This was the result:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 6.58.31 PM

As you can see, Aurore’s features aren’t recognizable in the red and blue channels. To fix that, I made some adjustments using the Hue/Saturation layer and this is what the photo looked like:

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 7.01.40 PM

And here’s the fianl photo looked like after adjusting the Brightness/Contrast layer:


That’s it! It’s a really simple technique which anyone can do to recreate a timeless effect without having the need of buying special equipment. I was really happy with the results from this project as it was a great marriage between analog and digital photography. You can see the rest of the photos at this link:

1 Comment

  1. How to give a picture a cyan/blue/yellow color
    December 16, 2013

    […] There may be several ways to do this. Try the Harris Shutter effect. […]


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