photography Lambok Sinaga | 2010
So. As I promised since ages before 2011, I finally squeezed some happy time between my lame paperworks-writing hours to share what I know about making vintage-toned alike photos tutorial. For the pictures in this blog I use Photoshop to do the editing, so if you're not familiar with photoshop this post might not be very helpful... But the steps are easy so as long as you're not sleepy or being in a broken-hearted mood I guess you could make the trial just fine. I dig my old photo archives and pick these photos (the one featuring me, my extra 3-4 kilograms weight and my long hair, never published on the blog before) because it has green background, something that is quite popular to be found in Indonesia. We will give the photo a sort-of classic touch by doing some photoshop actions. There are many different methods, but for the first attempt I will provide a pretty simple one. Ready?
we're going to get this result above soon.
1. First the first, choose an original picture you want to edit (let's use landscape photo now so you won't be tired scrolling down and up for every points). I usually saved the picture in RAW files but this one has converted into JPEG. Open the photo on Adobe Photoshop application. I pick one photo that's in good composition already so cropping isn't required... But you can crop your image as you want.
2. Duplicate the layer. Head on to Layer box and right-click on the background layer, choose duplicate layer, and just click okay. The duplicate layer will appear as named background copy.
3. Desaturate. Highlight the background copy layer (simply click it) and desaturate. You can do this by go to Image > Adjustment > Desaturate. Your image will appeared in black and white tone.
4. Blending option. Still pick the background copy layer. We need to make the photo looks a bit thicker and bold, so point your mouse into the box beside Opacity > click and scroll until you find soft light option. Choose the one and your image should look as above.
5. Reduce opacity. I don't like my photo to look as contrast as the previous, so I reduce the opacity level up into the number 65% remains. You can do this by click and dragging the opacity panel icon to left.
6. Curve. I want to make the picture look slightly brighter so I change its brightness and contrast through making a curve layer. Go click the rounded icon in the bottom of layer box (it's a black/white round), choose Curve. Move the line as you want until you get the desired brightness. If you want to use my parameter, just type 26 in the Output box (see above).
7. Red Channel. Click on the Channel option (at the top) and choose Red. This will give a reddish tone in your picture when the curve is dragged up, and cyan when it dragged down. I set mine with Output in 154 and Input in 128.
8. Blue Channel. We're going to do the same thing with the blue channel, and this time I combine between blue and yellow impression by dragging the curve into both direction (but emphasizing the blue one). This way we will get blue tone in the darker part on our photo, and yellowish tone in the brighter one (like in the skin). The output is 85 and Input is 58.
9. Color Balance. Create a new layer for Color Balance and click the Highlight option > drag the cursor in the Yellow-Blue level a bit left until the number show -10 in the box. Don't forget to check the Preserve Luminosity option as well.
10. Shadow. Now move into the Shadow option, and drag the cursor between Cyan - Red a little to the right, just until the number in color level box reach -5. Drag the cursor in Yellow - Blue into right as well and it will appear as +5.
11. Level. Now we're going to give the last touch for the color enhancement. Open Level layer, and in the RGB layer display, type 246 in the rightmost box. If it's still dark you can change into 230 or around.
12. Red Channel. Again, switch the RGB channel into the Red channel mode. Head on to the Output Levels section and set the number in the left box into 25, and the right box 255 as it is. The whole photo should get the instant reddish filter all over the surface.
13. Green Channel. Switch into Green Channel now to examine the green and magenta impression of the photo. Set the output level into 25 and 230 as shown above - don't worry if everything turned magenta because it should.
14. Blue Channel. After Green channel, now finally switch again to the Blue Channel. The output should be around 30 in the left box and 215 in the right box. When everything looks magenta in the previous photo, now it turned yellow. Don't worry, we're almost done here.
15. Group the Layer. In the previous photo the result is a bit over-yellowed, so we have to grouped the layer under Background Copy to make the yellow level reduced. You need to go into the bottom of Layer box > click on the new group icon (looks like a folder) > drag the Curves, Color Balance and Level layers into it one by one > and last drag the Background Copy layer so it will appeared in the top among other layer (if it's not automatically in the top, you have to drag and put it on the right order like shown in the example above). The yellowish will blend and you get a balanced result.
16. Sharpen. If needed, you can add some slight sharpening act into your photo - my photo were taken by the fix 50mm lens so the background were automatically out-focused (bokeh) and it doesn't really need much sharpening. But if you want to sharpen your image, click into the icon that I highlight inside the red-circle, and for changing the brush size you go into the upper tab where the yellow-circle highlight. Keep your photo as natural as can be, don't do over-sharping because it will look horrible in the end.
17. DONE! Now you have the old-accent in your photo with yellow and red imprints as the main element on your photo. You just need to save the picture and then repeat the same procedure to the other pictures!
When you try the tutorial and ended with something that doesn't looked like mine, don't worry, because color difference might happen as we can't make sure whether our original picture are in the same quality of brightness/focus or not. Usually I use my sense to tell whether certain act is too much and need reduction or it maybe too less and I maybe have to increase the amount of tone. This tutorial is basically showing you how I can get a vintage effect in my pictures, and for the size or number that are used here you could also make varieties or improvements. Just play with the layers and use the imagination! I will come up with other kind of vintage tone tutorials next time. Hope you'd find this quite helpful! x