March 19, 2013

How To Make a Digital Vintage Photo

Several people have asked me how I create my vintage looking photos (1, 2, 3).  Here's a basic tutorial that doesn't use shortcut keys in case you're new to Photoshop.

1.  Open your photo in Photoshop (File > Open).

2.  Open this worn texture (click and choose Save As) and drag it into a new layer above the first photo.  Change the Blending Mode to Multiply.  Your photo should look like it has brown-tinted scratches.

3.  Create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer) and fill it with white (Edit > Fill > White).  Change the Opacity to 50% or lower.

4.  Create a new layer.  Go to the toolbar and select the Custom Shape Tool (under the Rectangle Tool).  Choose the filled square with rounded corners.  Drag your mouse to create the shape.  Be sure to leave a small border of the original photo showing.  Rasterize the shape (Layer > Rasterize > Shape).

5.  On the shape layer, use the Magic Wand Tool to select the shape.  Invert your selection (Select > Inverse).  Click the photo layer and delete the border around the shape (Edit > Clear).  Delete the shape layer (select layer then go to Layer > Delete > Layer), and you're finished!

You'll want to adjust the opacity and blending mode to fit your taste.  Also, you may choose to desaturate the texture layer.