In this training lesson on Photoshop we will learn how to add antique or vintage photo effect to an image using Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud). We’ll start by creating a black and white version of our image before applying the Sepia tone for the vintage look. We will add grain and a vignette effect, and force the image to be the same as if it had vanished for a long time, lowering the tone of the picture, illuminating the shadows and reducing contrast in the mid tones inside the Camera Raw Filter. We also combine the Camera Raw Filter with the Smart Object, to acquire the effect fully editable and non-destructive picture, allowing us to go back and edit our settings and preferences at any time, and save the effect is totally separate image, leaving your original photo untouched and intact.
Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop CC gives us the best of both worlds – virtually all of the editing tools, options and settings the full version of Adobe Camera Raw and creative freedom to apply the filter to individual layers in our documents! To get more from this training program, you will need to use Photoshop CC. For users of Photoshop CS6 you will not have access to Camera Raw Filter, but you can also create the same effect using the same parameters and settings in Camera Raw. Will need to do is open the image in Adobe Camera Raw, not Photoshop.
Here is a picture which I have to work (in old woman guise):
But what it will be like the final old photo effect:
Step 1: converting to a Smart Object
Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at my layer group. I just opened your image in Photoshop, and we can see that the image is on the Background layer, currently the only layer in my document (and in fact, he will be the only layer in my document even after the effect is applied):
In a moment we will use the Filter Camera Raw to create our impression of an old photo, but to keep the effect fully editable, we’ll need to filter Smart Filter. And for that, we must first convert the layer on which is our image into a Smart Object. Click on the little symbol menu item in the upper right corner of the group of Layers:
After select Convert to Smart Object from the pop-up menu:
Nothing happens with the image in the document window, but if we look again in the Layers panel, we see that little symbol of Smart Object appeared in the lower right corner of the thumbnail preview of the layer, telling us that the layer is now a Smart Object:
Step 2: Select Camera Raw Filter.
Now that our layer has been converted into a Smart Object, we can apply the Camera Raw Filter. Go to the Filter menu in the menu bar along the top of the screen and choose Filter > Camera Raw:
Dialog box opens the Camera Raw Filter with the image appearing in the main preview area:
If a Filter Camera Raw already does not fit in full screen, click the full screen mode in the top right corner (left of the histogram) to switch it to full screen, so you can get a better view of those actions that you produce. You can also just press the F button on the keyboard:
Step 3: Open panel HSL / Grayscale
Different groups of Camera Raw are located in a column along the right side, and Main panel opens for us by default. We will return to the Main panel later. There are other groups from which we can choose which we can access by clicking on the different tabs just above the groups. To create our vintage photo effect, let’s start with HSL / Grayscale panel. Click on the tab to open (the fourth tab from the left):
Step 4: create a black and white version
We can use HSL / Grayscale panel to create the current black-and-white version of our image. First, select Convert to Grayscale by selecting it in the field. After that, you will see that the image in the preview area will switch to black and white color:
Then, drag the individual color sliders (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple, Magenta hues), or right, or place the item lighten (right) or darken (left) of any region in the black-and-white version that originally contained those colors. For example, moving the slider to the right red color will illuminate any areas in black-and-white version that originally contained red. Dragging the slider to the green to the left will darken any areas that contained green and so on. If You pull the slider, and nothing happens, it’s because none of the parts of your image does not contain that particular color. Watch your image in the preview area as You pull the sliders to get the result:
Continue to experiment with the color sliders until You’re happy with your black and white conversion. Here’s what my result looks like in the preview area:
Step 5: Open the Split Toning panel
Open task bar Split Toning by clicking on its tab (directly to the right of the tabs in the HSL / Grayscale):
Step 6: adding a Sepia
Using the panel Split Toning, we can add a Sepia tone to our black and white image, and we use the settings options of hue and saturation. There are two sets of hue and saturation, one to highlight light areas of the image, and one for the shadows (darker areas). To highlight the top, set the hue value to 40 (which gives us a nice orange-yellow image), and saturation to 20. Please note that You won’t actually see changes in shade, yet will not increase the saturation with the initial value (default 0).
Then, in the shadows use some other values for the shade – 45 (for small differences), and increase the saturation to 50 (for a more intense effect in the shadows):
Here is my image in the preview area with the applied setting Sepia:
Step 7: Open the effects panel
Two groups passed, two more to finish. Open the effect group by clicking on the fx tab (third tab from the right):
Step 8: Add grain to the image
Group effects is limited to just two effects – grain and vignetting – but both will rescue us from old photo effect that we create. Let’s start by adding a bit of grain. These three sliders in the Grain section at the top of the group allow us to regulate their number, size, and stiffness. You can experiment with these sliders for yourself to find options and settings that you like the most, or use the same options and settings that I use here for my image, the value is 50, 60, and stiffness – 60:
Shown here is a closeup of my image to see what looked like grain effect:
Step 9: Adding vignettes
Now, let’s go down to the effect group Post Crop Vignetting to add a vignette effect. The main control is a slider bar values at the top. If You pull this slider to the left, You darken the edges and corners of the image. This is usually the result that you want, adding a vignette, but in contrast to this, we want for our vintage photo effect. For this effect we want to examine edges as if they disappeared for a long time, and we can do this by moving the slider to the Number in the opposite direction, to the right. I’m going to increase its value the number of fully to 80. You can leave the other set of sliders:
Here is my image in the preview area with the applied vignette:
Step 10: Open the main panel
We will complete the effect in the same window of Photoshop open to us default Main panel. Click on the tab to open it (first tab on the left):
Step 11: Reduce the contrast
Images that have faded over time, less contrast, and we can reduce the contrast of our image using a few simple sliders in the Main group.
First, to reduce the shading, click on the slider to the main panel and drag it to the left. I will drag your value completely down to 70, but you might want to follow your own image as you pull the slider to get the result. Then, to illuminate the shadows click on the shadow slider and pull it to the right. I will increase the values of shadows to +80 in order to really illuminate darker areas, but you can also end up to choose different values for the image.
Finally, to reduce the contrast in mid-tones, click on the definition slider (third slider from the ground) and pull it to the left. I will get your value-definition of K-40, which give me a softer image without losing too much detail:
And here’s what my final effect is similar after the subtraction of image contrast:
Click OK when You’re all done to exit the dialog box Filter Camera Raw:
Photoshop monitors the action, and apply our settings to the image, so we applied the Camera Raw Filter to the Smart Object because it was added as a fully editable Smart Filter. If You want to go back and change any of your settings for this effect, just double-click directly on the name of the Camera Raw Filter to re-open the dialog and make the necessary changes:
To temporarily hide the old photo effect and look at your original image, click the visibility (eyeball) to the left of the filter name in the layer group:
Clicking on the symbol visibility once disables the filter and shows the original, untouched photo:
Clicking on the symbol visibility again (by clicking on an empty spot, where the eyeball used to be) returns the Filter Camera Raw, and returns the effect: