Dramatic Vintage Effect in Photoshop

Today we’ll o create a Dramatic Vintage effect in Photohsop. Remember those old fashion photos… That’s the look we’ll try to achieve. In this tutorial we’ll use some interesting techniques and adjustments to get this done. So let’s get started!

Photograph by Oleg Ti: https://www.flickr.com/photos/40881410@N06/5351557983

Final result:


Step 1:
Open Photoshop and create new file, with 1000px width and 750px height.

Step 2:
Open the photograph (mentioned in the resources above) and paste it on the main file.


Step 3:
Select the photo layer and right click on it, select ‘Duplicate layer’ option (you can also press CTrl/CMD + J to duplicate the layer).

With new layer selected click on Filter> Noise> Dust & Scratches. Keep the settings same as shown in the image below.


Now change the blending mode of this layer to ‘Multiply’ and reduce the opacity to ‘20%’.

Step 4:
Let’s start color tone adjustments for our photo, click on the icon to “Create new fill or adjustment layer” and select ‘Hue/Saturation’ adjustment layer (you can also click on image> Adjustments> Hue/Saturation).

We will adjust the ‘Master’ settings with Hue at +7 and Saturation at -40 as shown in the following image.


Step 5:
Again click on the icon of ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ and select ‘Color Balance’ adjustment layer. There is no hard and fast rule to adjust the color balance, it really depends on the photo you are editing and what effect you want to achieve.

Color Balance have three tone options ‘Highlights’, ‘Midtones’, and ‘Shadows’. We will adjust all three for our vintage effect.

Let’s start with the ‘Midtones’ first, adjust the settings according to the image below.


Step 6:
Select the ‘Shadows’ and adjust the color settings.


Step 7:
Select the ‘Highlights’ this time and adjust the color settings.


Step 8:
Click on the icon of ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ and select ‘Levels’ adjustment layer (or select it through Image> Adjustments> Levels).

Adjust the levels according to the image below.


Step 9:
Again click on the same icon and select ‘Curves’ adjustment layer. Now play with the curve to get the desired result.


Step 10:
Select the ‘Hue/Saturation’ same way as we did before and adjust the settings in ‘Master’ mode by increasing saturation to +15 and reducing Lighting to -5.


Step 11:
I think it would look better if we adjust the ‘Yellows’ to make it pop out more. So for this again select the ‘Hue/Saturation’ and this time adjust the ‘Yellows’ only. Increase saturation to 10+, same as shown in the following image.


Step 12:
Let’s see how our vintage photo look with all the adjustments we have applied.


Now its time to make it a bit more dramatic.
First create a new layer (Click the new layer icon or click on Layer> New> Layer), select the ‘Paint bucket tool’ and fill the new layer with color #8a449a.

Change the blending mode of the new layer to ‘Screen’ and reduce the opacity to ‘17%’.


Step 13:
Now we are going to add a subtle gradient to the photo, so create a new layer and click on ‘Gradient Tool’. Or you can click on Layer> Layer style> Gradient overlay.

In the ‘Gradient editor’ set the left color stop with color #aac8d1 and right color stop with #544964.


Select the Gradient layer and change the blending mode to ‘Lighten’ and reduce the opacity to 30%.

Step 14:
Our Vintage effect is almost ready, its time finish it off by adding a light vignette. For this create another new layer and select ‘Soft Round Brush’. Use the brush on the edges with color #000000.


Step 15:
Select the vignette layer we have created above and change the blending mode to ‘Soft light’ and reduce the opacity to ‘50%’.


And its ready, hope you enjoyed the creation of the this Dramatic Vintage effect.