Add a vintage photo effect

Blurred matte effects seem to be really popular in photos at the moment. These effects look especially cool in combination with warm vintage tones and the addition of a nostalgic feeling to your images. Step by step through this tutorial, process and transform your photos in Photoshop to create a warm, blurry vintage-matte effect using a safe editing technique.

Final result

The photo effect that we create will give your photos warm shades, filled with vague contrast, the idea of ​​this effect was inspired by early analogue photographic films. The effect is reproduced by creating adjustment layers and blending modes in Photoshop.

Open your original image in Photoshop. In this lesson I used a photo of my motorcycle. Initially, the photo has realistic colors and contrast, but the vintage-matte effect will perfectly complement the classic style of the motorcycle. Let’s start by adding a correction layer. Levels (Levels), which can be added through the bottom toolbar.

Slide the black settings slider Weekends values(Output Levels) to the right to reduce the contrast and blur the shadows on the image. Play with the settings of the light and dark shades in the histogram window to slightly restore the darkening to the dark shades and the light to the light shades.

Next, we will add another adjustment layer. This time select Black and white (Black and White). Leave the default settings, just lower the opacity of this adjustment layer to about 40% so that the original colors are visible, which will complement the blurred image.

Add warm tones to the image using an adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance). Start with Tonal balance (Tone): Shadows (Shadows), strengthen the red shades to about +20, and also add yellow shades to about -30. Do not forget to put a tick in the box Save glow (Preserve Luminosity) to get the best result.

Go to the next Tonal balance (Tone): Mid tones (Midtones) and Sveta (Highlights) and enhance the yellow tones to -30 on these channels to add warmth to the image with golden tones.

Translator’s Note: channel screenshot Sveta (Highlights) is missing, so after you set up the channel Mid tones (Midtones) go to channel Sveta (Highlights) and apply a value of -30 for a yellow tint or play with the value, selecting the right one for your photo.

Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Color Balance (Color Balance) on Light replacement (Lighten) to let the yellow shades interact with the original shades, as well as add warmth to the entire image.

We can add golden shades with a correction layer. Gradient (gradient), the colors of the gradient from medium brown to light brown. The gradient colors I used are # 5b3c2c and #efdbcd. Install Angle (angle) 45 ° to fill the gradient image diagonally.

Change the blending mode for the adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient) on Bright light (Vivid Light) to add bright light reflections to the image through brown shades.

Reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient) with mode Bright light (Vivid Light) to soften tones and keep delicate color shades.

Translator’s Note: The author has reduced the layer opacity to 25%.

Vintage effect will not be complete without minor scratches and grains, which gives the image a vintage and old look. Download the Dust and Scratch texture set, and then open one of these textures. Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Lightening (Screen) to hide the black background texture, and then reduce the opacity of the texture layer to 30%, keeping small scratches.

The final vintage matte effect gives the image a much more traditional look with blurry, golden yellow and brown tones. Each step of this effect is reproduced using adjustment layers, so for each individual image you can choose individual settings to get the best result for your image.

Final result

By Chris Spooner

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