How to Achieve the Vintage Look in Photoshop

One Methods:Improving the Image Quality

You don't have to be an expert in Photoshop to do something a little different with a picture. One way to set it apart is to give it a "vintage" look, as if the picture were taken decades ago, using the steps below. These instructions were written using Photoshop Extended CS3. This can also be a good way to spruce up a low quality image.

Steps

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    Select your image. Try to find a standard-quality picture[1], that's not either very small or very big.
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    Open your image in Photoshop. If you have a problem with low picture quality, then consult the "Improving the Image Quality" section below to improve the quality before adding the vintage effect. If the picture is high quality, proceed to the next step.
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    Duplicate your image and again go to Blending Options. Choose Overlay or Soft Light, according to your preferences. If your image is a light one, it's better to keep it in low opacity such as 40%.
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    Go to Layer >New Adjustment Layer>Selective Color.
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    Input these numbers in the following order:
    • Reds: +67, -48, -26, +31
    • Cyans: +29
    • Whites: 0, -45, +18, +8
    • Neutrals: +59, -11, -27, +15
    • Blacks: +51, +25, +23, -12
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    Make a new layer.(Ctrl+shift+n).Go to Edit>Fill and fill it with #1200ff or any rich blue color.This will fill your whole image with this colour but don't panic. Your image is not gone!
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    Right click your new layer and select again Blending Options. Set it to "Exclusion" and Opacity at 20-25%.
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    Add another layer and fill it again in these colors for their blend modes: Color Dodge: #8581b6; Divide: #7a7e49. Go to Blending Options, select Color Dodge and set the opacity to 25-30% or select Divide and set the opacity the same way as color dodge, but with this color: #7a7e49.

Improving the Image Quality

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    Duplicate your picture by Layer>Duplicate Layer.
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    Right click on the layer. You have just created and select Blending Options.
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    Set it to screen and select low opacity. Then select Layer>Flatten Image.
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    Duplicate your picture (Ctrl+J), and go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise. Now the settings depend on your picture, so experiment to get the best results.
    • Here are the settings which are used in the picture above:
      • Strength: 10
      • Preserve Details: 7%
      • Reduce Color Noise: 0%
      • Sharpen Details: 56%
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    Now that you've improved the skin detail, you might still have scan lines on the background and hair, so go to Filter>Blur>Surface Blur. Once again, these settings depend on your image so just experiment.
    • These are some sample settings:
      • Radius: 2
      • Threshold: 8
      • The example picture after that change looks like this.
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    Pick up where you left off in the steps above.

Tips

  • Experiment according to the picture you have in your computer. The adjustments above are samples, but they might not fit in each picture. So try testing different things to achieve the desired result.

Things You'll Need

  • Photoshop
  • Photo to be "aged"
  • Computer

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