in Typography, Visual Design

Photoshop Vintage Effect

Everybody is talking about Vintage look now a days and it is not so difficult to achieve.  There are so many ways to give your photos a vintage look. I am using photoshop for this tutorial since most of you are pretty comfortable with it. This time i am showing you how to achieve vintage effect by playing with the Curve value which is really easy enough to do. Kindly follow the steps below and practice  side by side.

I am using photoshop cs4 with adjustment layers. You can use the same techniques by applying curves directly into your images.

Tips: Always take a back-up of your original photographs before editing them.

Step  1

For this tutorial, i am using this lovely photograph from Barbara Pictures

Download Picture from Barbara picture
Photo credit goes to Barbara Pictures 

Step 2

Open this photograph in photoshop (version vs4 mac in my screenshot) and don’t worry about any particular page dimension at the moment because learning the technique is important over here.


Step 3

Now, duplicate the picture and name it as ‘Vintage look’ (optional).



Go to image > adjustment > curve as shown in the screenshot below



Make sure the values of RGB (Red, Green, Blue) set to default. Now select each color channel from the preset drop-down list and make changes as per the screenshot if you are using the same image for practice. There is no sequence to follow as you can modify the value by right click on the adjustment curve layer and select ‘Edit Adjustment‘.



Below, in the screenshot you can see the vintage effect after applying the curve values. (you can’t see the adjustment layer separately since i have flattened the layer). Actually, we are done with the vintage look over here. You can save this file as vintage.psd for later use.



To give this image a more realistic holga photography, we only need to apply a filter to this image. Now open the vintage.psd (that you saved in step 6), make a copy and renamed something like vintage-holga.psd for an instance. Now merge all the layers by select all layers, go to Layers (from the menu) and choose Merge Layers. (you can do these by using the keyboard shortcut as well such as Ctrl+E on Windows and Cmd+E on Mac.)


Now, select the image layer and apply lens correction by going to Filter > Distort > Lens Correction as shown in the screenshot, apply the parameters & click ok. (in the screenshot i have kept the source vintage image as backup just to compare with the final result).


Here in this image you can compare the results. (left: original image, right: vintage with holga effect)

Step 8

Similarly, you can achieve these color filters by adding a Solid Color Adjustment with Overlay blending as shown in the screenshot bellow.


I have enhanced the photograph by adding some flares and typography in it, which would be included in my next tutorial in detail.

Here are some useful links:
6 Tips for Becoming a Vintage Photography Expert
Color-Correct Images with Photoshop’s Curves Tool
All Time Popular Holga Lomo Photography

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