Methods for creating vintage collage in Photoshop

Currently, vintage style has become very popular, it is used to create posters, flyers and album covers.

In this tutorial, London’s illustrator artist, Ciara Phelan will show you how to sharpen your “cutting out of paper” skills in Photoshop to prepare images for collageing.

You will also learn how to use a variety of Photoshop tools to give your images an elegant, vintage look. How to adjust the contrast and color level, as well as using channels to create a lithographic effect, is a very useful method, since it can be applied to modern images, making them look as if they had come from the pages of 1950s magazines. You will save a lot of time by giving your images an interesting, vintage look with a touch of antiquity, without finding the right items in old magazines and encyclopedias.

Note: This tutorial focuses on transforming a deer photo in the example below, but these methods were used in all elements of this collage.

Translator’s Note: The author of the lesson does not give a link to the used images, but you can use alternatives or your own photos.

Step 1

Open the image of a deer in Photoshop. Since the deer will be used in the collage, you need to separate it from the background – select the tool Pen (Pen Tool), and on the toolbar at the top, select Contours(Paths). Zoom in and use the tool. Pen (Pen Tool), circle the figure of a deer.

Step 2

After you traced the outline of the animal, select Window (Window) Contours (Paths). In the drop-down menu of the dialog box Contours (Paths) select Select area (Make Selection). In the window that appears, change the radius of the pen to 0 and tick New selected area (New Selection). Click “OK” to create a selection around the image.

Step 3

Now that the deer figure is selected, copy and paste it into a new A4-size document CMYK mode with a resolution of 300 dpi: (Editing (Edit) – Copy (Copy), then File (File) – Create (New), then again Edit (Edit) – Insert (Paste), or Cmd / Ctrl + C, Cmd / Ctrl + N, Cmd / Ctrl + V).

Step 4

Vintage image has a higher contrast than digital. To create this effect, choose in the menu: Picture (Image) – Correction (Adjustments) – Curves (Curves). Change the line of the curve from straight to light curved in the shape of the letter S. This will reinforce the white color and make the shadows darker. To add contrast, you can also adjust Levels: Picture (Image) – Correction (Adjustments) – Levels (Levels). Slide the arrows inward to add more contrast.

Step 5

Adding contrast has increased the blue levels, making the image unnaturally blue. To fix this, go to the menu: Picture (Image) – Correction (Adjustments) – Curves (Curves). Select Blue (Cyan) drop-down menu Channels (Channel) and reduce the blue levels.

Step 6

The image still has a strong blue tint. To customize this, go to the menu Picture (Image) – Correction (Adjustments) – Selective color correction (Selective color). Select Neutral (Neutral) drop-down menu Colors and reduce the values ​​of blue. In general, vintage images have a yellow tint due to age, so add a yellow color like on the settings in the screenshot.

Step 7

The process of lithographic printing is the imposition of primary colors using metal plates. This method was used earlier to create photographic images. To create this effect, go to the tab Channels (Channels), then select the channel to offset. Now select: Allotment (Select) – Select all (All) Editing (Edit) – Copy (Copy) Editing (Edit) – Insert (Paste). Using the arrow keys, move the slightly purple layer so that it becomes slightly shifted to the side. Cancel Selection: select Allotment (Select) – Deselect (Select none), and in the channel dialog box, click CMYK to view the full image.

Step 8

The colors in the image are now quite bright, but in older images they are increasingly faded and less bright. To fix this, you need to discolor the image: Picture (Image) – Correction (Adjustments) – Hue / saturation (Hue / Saturation), and lower the saturation to about -22.

Translator’s Note: The author, using the example of a deer, showed all the basic steps in creating an old vintage photo. Using these techniques, you can process the remaining elements of your collage.

Ciara is an illustrator working in North London. In 2008, she completed graphic design training in Brighton and continued to create an exciting portfolio, working with a wide range of clients, Ciara produces detailed multimedia covers to decorate the covers of magazines, advertising campaigns, etc.

In 2011, Ciara established a new enterprise called Many Hands, which is an online store offering customers the opportunity to buy exciting, modern, stylish prints.

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