Vintage photograph tutorial

So, I felt like doing a little bit of Photoshopping, so having been playing around with Hipstamatic on my iPhone latety, I thought I would give it a try, and do my own take on a “vintage” photograph.

I ran to my hallway to get a reasonably clear background (note to self: remove stuff on the wall next time), and I snapped this picture handheld with no flash or anything:

The original image
The original image

After importing I noticed quite a few problems with the image, but didn’t really feel like posing again, so I fixed them using couple of Photoshop techniques:

  • I fixed the background using the Lasso Tool and content-aware fill (had to do it a couple of times).
  • Then I fixed the skin highlights, by:
    • Adding an empty layer above the background and set the blend mode to Darken
    • Then using a Healing Brush Tool with Sample set to All Layers and the source set to a nice clean piece of skin I drew over the highlights.
  • Used the Clone Stamp Tool to remove the red spot in the right eye.
  • I fixed the iris using a Dodge Tool: mid-tones, exposure 50% and doing a couple of twirls on the irises.
  • I rounded the pupils using a black Brush Tool (50% hardness).
  • I added a new highlight to the pupils using a white Brush Tool (10px, 25% hardness).

This was the result:

The cleaned up image
The cleaned up image

Then I needed a nice “grungy” border, so I went Googling until I found this site that had 5 interesting free borders. I picked one, resized it to my pictures dimensions and copied it to the top layer.

The last thing I needed was to make the actual image vintage, so I fired up Alienskin Exposure and looked through the different films, finally deciding on “Kodachrome II” which also included dust and scratches. I turned up the dust and scratch parameters, and almost turned the vignette to the maximum.

The final result:

The finished image
The finished image

I am sure there are 100’s of ways to make any Stock images you have look vintage. This was my way. I’d probably do something different another time, but I think it looks pretty good.

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2 thoughts on “Vintage photograph tutorial”

  1. Stumbled across this somehow…. Something UO related I think… And this entry is what, 3 yrs old – so you’ll probably never see these comments… Oh well

    Anyway, your changes in the 2nd image are amazing.

    Image #1 – I couldn’t find your eyes (intent)
    Image#2 – Now I see you as though I were there… Simply amazing.


    1. Thank you. 🙂

      I see what you mean, because the flash reflection on the first image is sort of in the center of the eye and is kind of distracting, so I took it out and replaced it by an off center reflection which makes it look more natural.

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