You are looking at archived content. The hot new stuff is happening at Veerle's blog 3.0. You should check it out!

Jan 21

Photoshop vintage effect

2008 at 01.38 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

Back in October I took this photo, in front of our house. A cool scene, bright colors and a double rainbow. After seeing this picture on my Flickr page, I received an e-mail from Marco who asked me about the post process of this image. Now here is my answer…

Choose your image carefully

First of all I need to mention that some pictures are better suitable than others. It's a good thing to experiment a lot and find out if the result is to your liking. Btw, not all settings I suggest are written in stone. Sometimes you discover the best effect by accident. How it looks good for you also boils down to personal preference. Let's take this picture as an example and create this same effect.

Add contrast and saturation

Photoshop vintage effect: Add contrast

Place the image in a separate layer. In the Layers palette click the adjustment layers menu icon and select "Brightness/Contrast". Check the preview option so you see the direct result. Set the Contrast to +20. Hit OK. Click the adjustment layers menu icon again and select "Hue/Saturation". Set the Saturation to +20. Hit OK.

Adjust curves

Photoshop vintage effect: Adjust curves - Red Channel

Add another adjustement layer. This time choose "Curves...". Select the Red channel and make sure the edit points icon is selected. Change the curve line a bit as show in the image above.

Photoshop vintage effect: Adjust curves - Green Channel

Select Green from the Channel dropdown menu and adjust the curve as shown in the image above.

Photoshop vintage effect: Adjust curves - Blue Channel

Now select Blue from the Channel dropdown menu and adjust the curve as shown in the image above.

Add Vignette effect

Photoshop vintage effect: Convert for Smart Filters

Select the layer with your photo and go to the Filter menu and select "Convert for Smart Filters". Doing this means you can apply filters to the photo while leaving your original in tact. First you'll get a message that says the layer will be converted into a smart object. Click OK. With this approach you'll be able to adjust the filters you've applied at any time. These Smart Filters work a bit like Adjustments layers but then with filter effects.

Photoshop vintage effect: applying Lens Correction as a Smart Filter

Now go to the Filter menu and select Distort > Lens Correction. In the Vignette option set the amount to -100 and the midpoint to +50. Hit the OK button. You'll see the Smart Filter appear below the layer. Double clicking this will open the Lens Correction filter options again where you can adjust anything you want. Double clicking the slider icon on the right will give you the option to adjust the layer mode and the transparency of the effect on the layer. Set the value to 70%. Now that's pretty neat stuff if you ask me :)

Add some Colorisation

Photoshop vintage effect: Colorize

Your photo should look pretty dramatic right now with a lot of contrast. Now we'll tone it all down again, but of course with a special effect to make it look like an old photo. In the Layers palette click the adjustment layers menu icon again and select "Hue/Saturation". Check the Colorize option in the bottom right corner as well as Preview. Drag the sliders until you get a bit of a sepia duo tone effect on your photo just as shown in the picture above. Change the opacity of this adjustement layer to 50%.

The final touch

Photoshop vintage effect: 5% pink layer

You could say OK we're done, but there is one little accent that our photo needs to give that real vintage touch. These photos always have some pinkish glow as if colors are faded from the sun. Therefor click the adjustment layers menu icon in the Layers palette again and select "Solid Color". Select a very bright hot pink magenta color and click OK. Change the opacity of the layer to 5%. That's it. Now you should have a vintage photo.

Before and after

Photoshop vintage effect: before and after example

Here is another example:

Photoshop vintage effect: before and after example

Make sure you experiment with the settings of these adjustement layers and filters. Like I said before the outcome differs a lot on the chosen image and also on the settings. My apologies to Marco that it took some time to bring this online. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a few things again :)

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.


64served

gravatar

1

permalink this comment Jason Long Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.17 pm

Very cool, thanks for writing up this tutorial.  I love these sorts of tricks - reminds me of Kottke’s Lomo effect that he wrote up a while back.


gravatar

2

permalink this comment Sam Daams Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.18 pm

Beautiful, I’ll be using this technique for sure!! Bookmarked on SU for reference :)


gravatar

3

permalink this comment Gordon Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.29 pm

Wonderful technique. I stumbled across something sort of similar a while ago but it’s too time consuming to keep on applying.

Ohh for a plugin to do this kind of thing!


gravatar

4

permalink this comment Michael Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.35 pm

Great set of tips; they form a great starting-point for future efforts!

Although, I think the effect is much more successful on the second test image.


gravatar

5

permalink this comment Daldianus Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.44 pm

Great tutorial again. I should really try this with some of my own tonight.

Another great way to do something similar is to match the colors of your recent picture with the colors of a vintage one.


gravatar

6

permalink this comment Ben Leivian Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.48 pm

Cool! Thanks for the write-up Veerle.


gravatar

7

permalink this comment Dustin Brewer Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.48 pm

That is a cool little effect. It is even pretty easy to do and will come in handy for a project that I am currently working on.


gravatar

8

permalink this comment Veerle Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 02.49 pm

Gordon said:

Wonderful technique. I stumbled across something sort of similar a while ago but it’s too time consuming to keep on applying. Ohh for a plugin to do this kind of thing!

You don’t need a plugin for this! Just record an action and next time you only need to press play ;)


gravatar

9

permalink this comment Dominik Lenk Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 03.14 pm

Very nice tuturial. Now the question is: How do you do it the other way around? I got tons of old pics lying around that I’d like to fix up. Apparently there is a method which makes them look like they just came back from the photostudio… Anyone?


gravatar

10

permalink this comment Step Schwarz Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 03.39 pm

Great tutorial. That 5% of pink at the end makes all the difference in the world as far as making it feel authentically vintage. Thanks so much.


gravatar

11

permalink this comment Juanma Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 03.40 pm

GREAT tutorial. I remember back in my old job as a newspaper designer 100 % of the images I worked with were analog scanned photos and I remember making them look like your “before” picture was a real pain in the neck.

Who would’ve thought now Vintage is the new cool thing.

Great as usual V.


gravatar

12

permalink this comment Simon Gate Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 04.35 pm

Ohh! Great! Love your tutorials!


gravatar

13

permalink this comment DeaPeaJay Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 05.50 pm

Thanks a lot, that’s a great effect. I’ve never tried recording an action before. I’ll have to try that.


gravatar

14

permalink this comment Stephanie Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 06.19 pm

Really cool technique as always :)

I want to add I really like the way you do screen caps for these how to articles.  They illustrate the directions so nicely.


gravatar

15

permalink this comment Antoine Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 06.28 pm

I usually do those kind of effects in Aperture, but this a nice way too, cool results ;-) !!


gravatar

16

permalink this comment naimahsingletary Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 06.32 pm

wonderful! thanks for sharing your information I will definately use this in the near future.


gravatar

17

permalink this comment Boomstein Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 07.12 pm

Excellent stuff Veerle. Another technique to remember, because I process lots of pictures, this could be a nice extra. Thanks!


gravatar

18

permalink this comment Brandy Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 07.14 pm

Veerle, I love the results of this tutorial, but found some of the steps were lacking an explanation.

In particular, I’d love to know what “Change the curve line a bit” is actually doing to the image, as it isn’t particularly clear to me in your screenshots.


gravatar

19

permalink this comment Sean Hodge Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 07.18 pm

This is a great tutorial. I’ve been wanting to start a personal family travel blog and I imagined the photos having this kind of old look. Now I can make it happen. Thanks.


gravatar

20

permalink this comment Misty Beier Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 07.46 pm

Very Cool! Thanks for sharing!


gravatar

21

permalink this comment Braintrove.com Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 08.40 pm

Thanks for sharing!


gravatar

22

permalink this comment Karim Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 09.09 pm

Nice one! I’m sure there’s an equivalent way with the GIMP too ;-)


gravatar

23

permalink this comment FreeBee Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 09.42 pm

Really great effect, fantastic explanation. Just makes me wonder: how much of what we see is still real? :)


gravatar

24

permalink this comment Jim Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 10.25 pm

Great tutorial! Thanks!


gravatar

25

permalink this comment Scott Johnson Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 11.29 pm

Great technique!  Here‘s my first try.  Amazing!


gravatar

26

permalink this comment Erin Sullivan Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 12.00 am

Wonderful tutorial! After reading it I had to try it out so I applied it to a random picture I took over a year ago. I made the decision to stop before adding the sepia look and I believe that taking out the last two steps made a great result. Check it out! :)

http://eriney.deviantart.com/art/Vintage-Shoe-75246990


gravatar

27

permalink this comment firewalker Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 03.34 am

Since this tutorial can be done by creating actions, why don’t you make a tutorial to make an action? I bet not all people are quite aware with that.


gravatar

28

permalink this comment stellasempire Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 08.30 am

Uhhh thanks for this darling


gravatar

29

permalink this comment anurbangentleman Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 10.18 am

Thanks for this, I don’t have a lomo camera :( but this is something I can use to get that cool effect, THANKS!


gravatar

30

permalink this comment Damjan Mozetič Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 02.54 pm

Another nice technique from Veerle. Thanks!


gravatar

31

permalink this comment Kenny Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 06.45 pm

Thanks a lot, that’s a great technique.


gravatar

32

permalink this comment Heather Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07.28 pm

Great post, as usual. It’s something I will probably need but have never thought about.


gravatar

33

permalink this comment Projektowanie S. Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 09.27 pm

Hey
really intresting
I dont have talent, I have two left hands in designs, but I will try this tutor on my photos :D

Greetings, Projektowanie S.


gravatar

34

permalink this comment Tobolka Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 08.41 am

Great job, thaks for this vitage efect.

And here is my vintage photo.

http://tobolka.deviantart.com/art/Vintage-photo-75329567


gravatar

35

permalink this comment Timothy Diokno Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 01.15 pm

How to record an “action”? That’s something completely new to me.


gravatar

36

permalink this comment Chris Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 07.08 pm

Great tip. I’ve done this a few different ways but never with the individual channel/curve adjustments. Much more flexible than my clunky methods!


gravatar

37

permalink this comment Marco Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 07.53 pm

Pretty nice technique! I like it.

It would be interesting maybe to try and combine this with the realistic analog grain technique I blogged about last fall?


gravatar

38

permalink this comment heather Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 04.30 am

love the tutorial! thank you so much, put together so well. i am just wondering if the “convert for smart filter” is available in CS2? I couldn’t find it and i tried in the help section too… thanks much!


gravatar

39

permalink this comment Michael Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 07.02 am

Thanks for the help. Tutorials are always appreciated.


gravatar

40

permalink this comment Veerle Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 10.38 am

Brandy said:

In particular, I’d love to know what “Change the curve line a bit” is actually doing to the image, as it isn’t particularly clear to me in your screenshots.

You are changing the the RGB color channels, so you are adding more or less red, green or blue.

Timothy Diokno said:

How to record an “action”? That’s something completely new to me.

I’ll try to do a tutorial about that at a later date.

heather said:

i am just wondering if the “convert for smart filter” is available in CS2?

Smart Filter is a new feature only available in Photoshop CS3 I’m afraid.


gravatar

41

permalink this comment Dave Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 01.27 pm

I had been looking around for a tutorial on this exact technique. This is perfect.


gravatar

42

permalink this comment heather Murphy Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 02.08 pm

thank you*


gravatar

43

permalink this comment Rick Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 08.34 pm

Very nice tutorial….......this should help my web design on future work…...I will certainly return to this site to see additional projects…...


gravatar

44

permalink this comment Dario Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 11.11 pm

this is so cool !  thanks for a great tutorial .. :)


gravatar

45

permalink this comment Wendy Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 05.50 am

My first couple of fail attempt, I used Distort > Lens Correction with Vignette amount set to 100!!! I didn’t realize there is negative sign which should turn the amount into -100. And all what I did is brighter whitening edge of picture, silly me, I didn’t notice ^_^

Anyone who tried, make sure you keyed in all the correct values. Cheers.


gravatar

46

permalink this comment Chris Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 10.50 am

I have spent so many long, lonely hours looking for source imagery with this ‘vintage’ look for use in my illustrations. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial. “..teach a man to fish..etc.”


gravatar

47

permalink this comment Paul Long Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 11.48 am

Great tutorial. Added it to my Del.icio.us! Thanks :)


gravatar

48

permalink this comment Ryan Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 03.35 pm

I am lacking in smart filters in my measly cs2, but when I upgrade I will give it a try. Excellent tutorial.


gravatar

49

permalink this comment brandy Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 03.44 pm

“You are changing the the RGB color channels, so you are adding more or less red, green or blue.”

Well, I did know that, but thanks. I guess I just don’t understand how wiggling a line around causes that to happen. Maybe I need to find a tutorial on curves…


gravatar

50

permalink this comment satyam Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 04.05 pm

very good modifying tutorial i like this


gravatar

51

permalink this comment Michał Stempień Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02.11 am

Great tut, appreciate your effort.


gravatar

52

permalink this comment Joseph Hodges Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 03.04 pm

I’ve just been trying to apply the similar effect on some of my photos that needed some ‘aging’ effects on them. Thanks for the tutorial, it was really helpful!


gravatar

53

permalink this comment chloe Mon Jan 28, 2008 at 05.30 am

so cool.how great the set of tips are.thank you for share.


gravatar

54

permalink this comment Jon Bolden Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06.07 pm

Amazing, I’ve been looking for a quicker way to achieve this effect for months now. Thanks veerle!


gravatar

55

permalink this comment MarshallStaxx Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06.07 pm

Amazing tutorial. Very cool technique to add that beautiful vintage feel to a photo.

I tried it out on a photograph of some glamourous hostesses I took at a Charity Ball that I worked at last week. The technique makes it look like a behinds-the-scenes shot from the Sands Hotel in Vegas ‘72.


gravatar

56

permalink this comment JeBeKe Fri Feb 1, 2008 at 07.50 am

Thanks for the nice explanation. With all these details you’ve mentioned, I will try to mimic this effect in Adobe Lightroom, my prefered postprocessing application (because of it’s speed and it’s non destructive processing)


gravatar

57

permalink this comment Corsi Mon Feb 4, 2008 at 05.20 am

Thanks, clear and nice tutorial.
I will use it.


gravatar

58

permalink this comment nitos Mon Feb 4, 2008 at 05.37 pm

wow!.. great tutorial!


gravatar

59

permalink this comment John Bill Tue Feb 5, 2008 at 02.02 pm

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’ve been trying so hard to get this look in photoshop.


gravatar

60

permalink this comment Marco Wed Feb 6, 2008 at 03.46 pm

Hi, thank you so much for posting these requested tutorial! You know who I am :-)
Great tutorial!


gravatar

61

permalink this comment Bill Thu Feb 7, 2008 at 04.01 am

Very cool tutorial, I am actually trying it right now! Thanks for posting!!


gravatar

62

permalink this comment Scott Pargett Thu Feb 7, 2008 at 04.29 am

Great stuff. Simple and effective tutorial.

I will say that the ‘Photo Filter’ adjustment layer is much easier for alot of the Hue/Saturation color effects you’re doing.


gravatar

63

permalink this comment Noe Mon Feb 18, 2008 at 01.48 pm

perfect! I’ll love that effect 4ever…thanks a lot (i’m new in the design’s world)
Gracias!!!!


gravatar

64

permalink this comment Photography enthusiast Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02.27 am

Wow… thanks for the great tutorial. BTW, your blog is really so stylish.



Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Flickrness

buy something from my Amazon wishlist