Retro Photo Effect

Wonder how an ordinary photo turned into a somewhat old yet cool effect? There are many of them seen in the internet, most popular of which is the Instagram, with millions of followers posting pictures everyday. Well, you can do the effects too like the ones posted there. In this tutorial, we’ll limit the topic though to retro effect and then, maybe, you can try yourself making other effects as well.

There are only a few steps to do here to make the job done. Yep, and it’s easy!

First off, open the photo to work with in Photoshop, then duplicate it.



Now the most exciting part:

1.Go to the Adjustment Layer button located at the bottom of the layers palette. Choose            Curves. The Curves dialog box appears like the one below.


2. Select the Red in the dropdown menu. Make an upward bend like an arc to increase              the amount of reds in the overall colour balance of the photo.


3 .Now, select the Blue and make a downward bend (the opposite curve of Reds),                        decreasing the blues and creating a yellow tone.


4. Then, select the Green and then make an s-shaped curve like the one shown below.            This will make the reds more prominent in the shadows and the yellows in the                         highlights.


Set the mode into Soft Light and Opacity to 50%. This is to effect the steps we did above. Depending on the photo used, Overlay, Screen, or Lighter Color will do. You must try it.


5. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise.. Check Monochromatic and Gaussian. You can choose also Uniform in place of Gaussian. This has no big difference in this case.


6. Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur… This is to hide the hard dots and creating a vintage look at the photo by the soft tone and the noise as well.


7. Go back to Adjustment layer again and, this time, select Color Balance and play with the sliders to meet the right values for your photo (e.g., enhancement of the reds, blues and yellows without eroding the result we’ve done already). Here’s mine:


8. Still with the Adjustment Layer, select Solid Color and perform the right amount of yellows to be applied. This is to enhance more the vintage look of our photo. Here’s what I come up with:


9. In the layers palette, set the layer style to Overlay and Opacity 32%.


Voila, your retro effect!



*Note: You can fine tune it if you feel unsatisfied with the result by trying some different values in the curves created. Note that there can’t be no identical effect in every photo that is used. It is a must to play the sliders, other tools to meet the desired result. For example, you may want to add also a vignette (like the one above) and/or other effects as well.

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