A very popular style for images is the vintage or retro look and I have had many people ask how they can do that on their own, so I thought a short tutorial would be helpful. I am just giving three basic steps that you can add other adjustments or effects on top of to create exactly what you want.
As always, these steps can be taken in Photoshop CS5 and earlier versions. AND, as usual, please remember that this is just one way to make a vintage look for a picture. There are other techniques or approaches that work wonderfully also.
So, the image just below is an overview of the THREE step process you can take to make a simple vintage or retro look for your photograph, the layers you will end up with.
Step 1: Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (click on half black/half white circle at bottom of Layers palette) and pull down the MASTER saturation to around -35, then go to the REDS and move the Hue down to -3 and Saturation to +11.
This is desaturating the image without taking all the color from her skin and leaving her deathly gray.
Step 2: Make a Levels adjustment and go the RED channel, move gray slider to 1.24, then go to GREEN channel, move gray slider to 1.20, then go to BLUE channel and at the bottom, change the OUTPUT to around 30.
Step 3: Make a Solid Color adjustment layer (same white/black circle) and choose a deep bluish-purple color. Change the blend mode to EXLUSION. Reduce layer opacity to around 30%.
There you have it…a retro/vintage effect in three easy steps. Make sure to adjust the layer opacities to suit your tastes.
If you would like to practice this technique on the same image I used, you can click HERE to download it. I did not add any sharpening so if you wanted to edit it and share on your blog (NOT expecting you to, you will want to resize for the web and sharpen it).
Below is a short video tutorial walking you through these steps. If you are reading in a blog reader and do not see the video, click over to the blog to view it.