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(5) Vintage Photo Looks – Revisited

January 4, 2011 - - 8:56 AM

It has been a while since I have written a series about how to get your photos to look vintage. In the past month a few other tools have come to my attention that also yield beautiful results.

1. Webbased tools

If you would like your photo to look like it is at least 100 years old, then try the Bakumatsu Koshashin generator.

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There is another generator called Rollip, which gives you many different options of processing your image.

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2. Hipstamatic – iPhone app and Photoshop actions

If you have an iPhone, there are several apps you can get to achieve the toy camera look. The favorite one is probably the Hipstamatic.

If you want to look at all the options this app gives you, there is a gallery from PhotoJojo and by DJ Paine on Flickr.

I will not go into details on the quality of iPhone images or if the toy camera look is something that will last.
Just let me say that I believe in two things:
1) It is better to be able to take a photo, then not be able to take one. If people use their mobile camera to take a picture, then there always is the option of learning something new and being creative.
2) If a tool helps you to see things in a new light or capture events or ideas, you should go ahead and use it. Especially, if it is also fun to play around with and you like the results.

For the people like me, who do not have an iPhone, there are options of recreating the look of the Hipstamatic in Photoshop. The photo never looks 100% like one by the Hipstamatic does, but it is usually very close.

There is a free Photoshop Action by AllyKat Design that gives you lovely effects. For the photo below I used the option “Ina’s 1969” .

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There are three action packs by Jana Werner (1, 2 and 3), which I can recommend.
Just keep in mind to read the instructions first and work on 8-bit (not 16-bit) images for these actions to run smoothly.

The first image was processed with an action from the first pack (Film “Blackys”).

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The second images was created with the second pack (Film “Infra Freddie”).

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(4) Vintage Photo Looks: Random acts of “Vintageness”

May 2, 2010 - - 6:40 PM

Making your image look “vintage” can mean many different things. In this last part of the series I simple want to show different beautiful vintage looks that did not fit in the categories featured so far.

1. Webbased tools

There is an application I liked by Anymaking that creates a lovely old photo effect. I only increased the contrast slightly (with a curves layer set on the blending option “luminosity”) in Photoshop.

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I also liked PhotoFunia’s vintage photo approach a lot. The logo inserted at the bottom of the frame was removed (with the Spot Healing Brush) in Photoshop.

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2. Free (or cheap) software

There are many free photo editors for Windows or the ones available for Mac you can use to turn your image into a black&white version, apply a sepia color tone or add a frame. However, unless the editor offers layers and other more advanced options (e.g. levels and curves), it might be difficult to try more complex tutorials and add paper textures or signs of age – like cracks –  to your photo.

3. Photoshop

a) Actions

I almost cannot believe how many useful and beautiful vintage Photoshop actions there are on the web for free. Just google for “vintage” or “retro” and “photoshop action”!

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From the top left to bottom right corner:

1. Old Photo Action by shagagraf – applied with an opacity of 50%
2. H.D.A.-soft elegance by H-D-STOCK – applied with an opacity of 40%
3. Vintage effect by photoshop-stock – Option 2
4. Cross-processing action1 by untitledhope
5. Vintage by Roy Adkins
6. Vintage action by lassekorsgaard
7. Dim and Jade by davidnanchin
8. Photoshop actions 41 by night-fate – Option 6 with first curves layer to 80% (Julia Starr actually offers many pages of free actions!)
9. Retro Action by marissaxxx

Two other actions I also especially liked were the “Hand-colored Vintage Photo” and “Vintage Photo” actions by Jenny W.

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b) Tutorials

Hongkiat has compiled a list of very useful vintage and aging photo effects tutorials.

Gerardo Carrillo came up with an approach I just had to try. The texture I used is from the “Vintage Grunge Textures” package by Princess of Shadows. If you are looking for textures try these recommendations or the links on this website.

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If you want to try a soft and dreamy look then try this wonderful tutorial and look at the actions by CoffeeShop, e.g. “Soft Autumn Glow” or “Butterscotch Vintage“.