How To Make New Pictures Look Old

With the advent of digital photography, SLR cameras are now equipped with very sharp lenses so that photographs come out very crisp, clean and clear. Details are very defined and outlined so that you can almost always say the photographs are “picture perfect”.

Of course some of the magic in these beautiful photographs are created with the help of some graphic imaging and editing tool. Therefore, if one can make beautiful pictures more perfect using one of these editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop, then you can play around with it and make some photographs look old for a change. Here are the steps on how to age a picture.

Choose an image that is most likely to look as if it was taken several years back. Good subjects are log cabins, landscapes, old buildings and photos of people wearing ordinary, not modern clothing.

  1. Upload the photo to your computer and open Photoshop.
  2. First thing you need to do is remove the color from your picture. Do this by clicking Image, Adjustments, Desaturate. The image will be rendered in black and white.
  3. To increase the intensity and contrast between black and white, make a duplicate layer then click OK. Select Layer, Layer Styles, Blending Options. Set the Blending Mode to Overlay using the drop down menu.
  4. You are now ready to add a blurred effect to the picture. Select Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. Set the radius between 1 to 1.5 pixels and click OK.
  5. Add some motion blur by selecting Filter, Blur, Motion Blur and change the blur angle to about 45 degrees, with a distance of between three to five pixels.
  6. Next you will give your picture a grainy effect by creating a new layer. Then click Edit, Fill. Set the fill to 50 percent and the blending mode to overlay.
  7. This time click Filter, Noise, Add Noise. Set Noise Filter between three percent and five percent and Distribution to Gaussian. Select Monochromatic and click OK.
  8. You can make the grain less noticeable by repeating steps 4 and 7, reducing the blur to about one to two pixels.
  9. To add more focus on the focal subject and darken the edges of the picture just like how the old photographs look, create another layer. Make a large circle or ellipse to cover the focal image using the elliptical marquee tool.
  10. You will see a circle/ellipse with running lines. Click Select, Inverse to select the rest of the image, and click Edit, Fill and fill the selection with black.
  11. Apply another set of filters by going to Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur. This time set the radius to 250 pixels, click OK and set the layer opacity about forty to fifty percent to make the effect more subtle.
  12. Up to this stage the image is still in black and white and grainy with a softer focus. To turn it into sepia, create a new layer and set the blending mode to Color and fill the layer with a yellowish brown tint. To adjust the tone, click Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation.

This may take some trial and error if you are a beginner, but you will soon get the knack of giving some pictures an old look. As you become adept to aging some pictures, you can also add some scratches, tears, water spots, crumpled effect and other ‘aging” signs associated with old pictures.


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