Turning a boring photo into a stunning vintage portrait
This tutorial is going to cover using filters, adjustment layers, and a few tricks to turn a boring old photo into a stunning gritty vintage portrait.
Requirements for this tutorial:
- a photo to apply the effect to
- Adobe Photoshop CS3+
- Basic Photoshop knowledge
For this tutorial I'm going to be using the following photo:
First open up the photo in Photoshop double click the photo layer and click OK to unlock the background layer. Now, press Ctrl+M to open up the Curves adjustment layer - we are going to be using it to increase the contrast of the image. In the Curves dialog create an S shape out of the line that looks something like this.
* Remember: the more extreme your S the higher the contrast will be (darker shadows & lighter highlights)
Next thing you want to do is go to image > mode > lab color (if a dialog box appears press merge) in the layers panel move over to the channels tab and select the "Lightness" channel. all other channels should be unselected automatically and the image should turn to gray scale (don't panic!)
With the "Lightness" channel selected go to Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask
In the Unsharp Mask window enter the following parameters and press OK:
now go to image>mode>RGB color
Duplicate your layer by pressing Ctrl+J or right click>Duplicate Layer select the duplicated layer and go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Enter a radius of 5px and press OK to continue. you should now have an odd looking gray layer above your original image. Change the blending mode of the gray layer from Normal to Overlay using the drop down list:
Your photo should be looking pretty good by now, but were not finished yet!
Create a new layer and fill it with black now change its blending mode to Hue and set it's opacity to between 35-45 %
Now create a new gradient map adjustment layer from the adjustment layer list
Choose the purple>orange gradient and press OK.
Change the opacity of gradient map to around 20%
Now for the final vintage touch create a new layer and go to image>apply image
then go to filter>render>lighting effects choose 2 O'clock Spotlight and press ok
I encourage you to post your results, feedback on my tutorial and any requests for future posts and tutorials. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed my tutorial.