Lesson «Processing a photo under a film in Photoshop»: we do together | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


To make a photo “vintage” and “antique”, it is not necessary to buy a film camera and stress during shooting, not knowing what the result will be after developing. You can also process a photo under the film in Photoshop, and it will take only a couple of minutes, and the resulting layers can be transferred to other images to quickly process a series.

We tell and show how to quickly process a photo “under the film”, and also invite you to join us and share your results.

Film processing will make the photo more atmospheric and add a vintage effect / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert / Photo: pixabay.com

Open the photo and evaluate how vintage processing suits the image. It is important to understand that the effect of “filminess” is created not only by toning, but also by the location, the image of the model in the frame — if you add grain and muffle colors to a futuristic city of the future from a space action movie, it will look strange, not vintage.

We have chosen a picture, according to the surroundings, suitable for further processing, so we proceed to the first point of the plan.

1. Open a photo. To do this, grab it with the left mouse button and transfer it directly from the folder to the open Photoshop window. Another option to open a photo in Photoshop is to go to the menu File / File — Open / Open (Hotkeys ctrl+0).

2. In the palette Layers create an adjustment layer Curves. To do this, click on the black and white circle and find the desired layer.

With this Curves layer, you need to make the shadows lighter and not so deep, that is, lower the contrast. This will create the effect of a «faded» old photo. To do this, grab the extreme point on the curve with the left mouse button (it is also called the black point — it is responsible for the darkest areas in the photo), resting against the lower corner of the square, and lift it up.

The photo will brighten a lot. To dampen the brightness and further lower the contrast, place a point on the left half of the curve and lower it down. If this increases saturation — nothing, it can be removed in the future.

Now it remains to dim the lights. To do this, take the extreme point on the curve on the right (it is called the white point) and lower it down a little. Lights and highlights will become more faded.

3. Add a greenish tint to the shadows, and red to the highlights. This will give the photo a film photo toning effect. You don’t even need to create a separate layer for this! From the curve menu, click on the RGB dropdown and select Green / Green. After that, slightly raise the black point in the green channel.

Films are different and can produce completely different colors, so you can also additionally «walk» through the red and blue channels, toning the photo differently. For example, add red to the shadows by switching to the Red channel.

4. Now it’s time to work with color! The first thing I want to do is to tone down the saturation of the colors so that they are more faded. To do this, in the adjustment layers, find Hue/Saturation / Hue/Saturation. In this layer, first of all, remove Saturation, moving the slider to the left to get negative values. Additionally, you can also slightly remove Brightness / Lightness.

5. Now let’s work with individual colors. Now the most saturated color — Blue/Cyans. Click drop down list Master and find Blue. Remove the saturation from it, and if you wish, you can additionally play with its shade. For example, take it to a greener one. To do this, move the slider Tone / Hue.

6. Now let’s add toning — use the preset built into Photoshop. To do this, create another adjustment layer. Hue/Saturationclick on the dropdown list Presets / Preset and choose Sepia / Sepia. The entire photo will become black and white and tinted brownish.

Using the Saturation slider, the color of the tint can be made more bed-like or, on the contrary, brighter.

Then there are two ways:

  • If you are satisfied with this tinting, go to step 7.
  • If you want the original colors to show through, lower the opacity of the created layer, and then go to step 7.

7. Add grain to the picture.

To do this, first create a merged copy of all layers. To do this, stand on the very last top layer (Hue/Saturation with Sepia) and press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E.

Stand on the new resulting layer and go to Filter / Filter — Noise / Noise — Add noise / Add Noise.

Set visually pleasing settings for you and click OK.

8. Now let’s add a vignette and — if desired — more grain. To do this, create a duplicate of the noise layer (Ctrl+J or right click Create a duplicate layer / Duplicate Layer) and go to Filter / Filter — Camera Raw.

Select the icon on the top right Basic / Basic and in the menu that appears, find the dropdown list Effects / Effects. If you move the slider Vignetting / Vignetting to the left, the vignette will be black, and if to the right, the vignette will be white.

After you get the effect you want, click Ok.

9. Almost done! The final touch remains — the texture of scratches and dust, as if this old photo was just scanned from a printed original.

To do this, find a texture with scratches in the search engine. You can also drive in the search line — «scratches texture» or «scratches texture». It is desirable that it be a black and white texture, where scratches and dirt are on a dark / black background. Then, with the desired blending mode, you will get a texture without a background.

10. Download the image and transfer it to your processed photo. If it turns out that it does not cover the entire area of ​​​​the image, stretch it. To do this, drag the left mouse button on the corners of the image and align them with the edges of the original image.

To stretch the texture, drag any of the white squares around it.

11. Standing on the texture layer, click on the drop-down list Normal / Normal on the layers palette. Choose a blend mode. Here, for example, Overlay / Overlay, Soft Light / Soft Light, Light Replacement / Color Dodge. Experiment with different ones and choose the option that you like the most.

12. To make the effect of the texture more accurate, reduce the opacity of the layer.

13. The last optional step. Stand on the texture layer, create a merged copy of all layers (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E) and go to Filter / Filter — Blur / Blur — Gaussian Blur / Guassan Blur. Blur the photo literally by 0.3-0.7 pixels to bring down the sharpness and enhance the effect of film photography.


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