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How Do You Create a Vintage Effect on Your Photos?

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Everything that’s old is new again. When it comes to photography, the vintage effect is bigger than ever.

If you want to create a vintage photo, you will need to think about your subject matter, but most of it will come into play in the effects you use in editing. Here are some things to consider.

What are Good Vintage Photography Subjects?

Almost anything works well for vintage photography. Obviously, if you are shooting a vintage scene with people dressed in old timey clothing and cars that date back a few decades, the vintage look is a must.

Alternately, anything timeless can have vintage appeal. Think still lifes and nature scenes.

But even if you take a decidedly modern picture, adding a vintage effect will provide a dichotomy that will make the image unique.

How to Get the Effect

There are several ways to get a vintage effect for your photos. Here are some that are recommended.

Vignetting

Vignetting involves reducing the image’s brightness or saturation. It can be achieved by darkening the edges of the image while keeping the subject brighter. This will mimic the appearance of older photos that weren’t as well balanced.

Low Contrast

If you look at a photo that has been sitting around a long time, you will notice the edges have become blurred or faded. The fading creates a low contrast look. You can replicate this effect by decreasing the contrast and increasing the brightness of your photos while editing.

Low Color Saturation

Color photography wasn’t invented until the 1950’s and even then, the colors tended to be washed out and not as vibrant as they are in present day. To copy this style, all you need to do is reduce the saturation. Alternately, you can go back even further than the 50’s and make your photos completely black and white.

Blue, Yellow or Green Tint

The chemicals in the photo paper and the inks used to create the photo deteriorate over time making colors appear to have yellow tint which is especially noticeable in black and white photos. During editing, play around with yellows as well as other tones like blues, greens and reds until you have a vintage look you are happy with.

Noise and Scratches

Photos will have evidence of noise and scratches due to cameras and lenses that weren’t as advanced as they are today. They may also have signs of damage. A noise slider effect will add scratches nicks and tears that make photos look much older than they really are.

How to Achieve it

The way you create your vintage look will vary according to the software you’re using. For the most part, you will drop your picture into your software program. From there, you should be able to access a drop down menu with options for adding tint, saturation, contrast, vignetting and other effects.

There should be a slide bar for each that allows you to control the effect. Slide from left to right until you get the look you are after.

Vintage photos are all the rage. The tips in this article will help you create photos that have a terrific old school style appeal. How will you be using editing effects to take your photos back in time?

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