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Give Your Photos A Vintage Look - Layers And Textures Tutorial
Here is a free Photoshop tutorial from PSD Magazine — "I Fell in Love with an Alien" by Julia Trotti. (Download the source files.)
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add clouds to a photo by using layer masks, how to edit colours in Photoshop to give your image a vintage look and how to work with layering textures. This tutorial is relatively easy, but gives amazing looking results from the simplest tools.
1. Open the original image with the girl holding the umbrella in Photoshop. Press [C] for the Crop Tool, and hold [Shift] down to crop the image into a square. Use the Blur tool with a brush of 70px Diameter, 20% Hardness and 10% Strength to subtly blur down some sections of the grass.
2. Press [Ctrl] + [J] two times to copy the background image twice. Make the top layer invisible by pressing the eye, and make the middle layer active by clicking on it. Press [Ctrl] + [M] to bring up the curves box. This section is all up to personal preference – move each each of the red, green and blue colour curves around to try and get something similar as the example, keeping in mind that you are trying to bring out the reds more, keeping the greens out of the image as much as you can. When you are happy with how it looks, press [OK] and change the layer style to Color.
3. Make the third background layer visible and active. Press [Ctrl] + [M] to bring up the curves box. This time while going through each of the colour curves, we are going to do the opposite and bring out the yellows and green of the image. When you are finished happy with how it looks, press [OK] and change the layer style to Darken. Now your colours should look almost as you want them to look in the final image. Open the clouds image and drag it on to the fields image in a new layer. Change the layer style to Overlay. With the clouds layer selected, press the Add layer mask in the bottom of the layers box. It is the second from the left and looks like a square with a circle in it.
4. To start with, grab a brush of 100% Opacity, 175px in Diameter, and 75% Hardness and press [D] to reset your colour palette, and [X] to switch the colours around, so white is in the foreground and black is in the background. Then proceed to get rid of the entire bottom part of the clouds image where there are trees and grass. With a brush of 100% Opacity, 75px in Diameter and 75% Hardness, remove all the blue you can see in the girl's dress.
5. To make the final finishing touches so the clouds blend in seamlessly with the fields, use a brush of 40% Opacity, 125px in Diameter and 75% Hardness and dab and brush over and over again at the edge of the fields until you are happy. The results are subtle, but make a drastic impact over the look of the final image.
6. At the moment, the blue of the clouds are standing out compared to the rest of the image, so press [Ctrl] + [M] to bring up the curves box with the clouds layer selected. I used the following settings to give the clouds a more vintage feel like rest of the image.
7. Open the first rusty and scratchy looking texture and drag it on to the image you are working on. Set the layer style to Soft light and Opacity to 64%. Press the Add layer mask and with a brush of 40% Opacity, 150px in Diameter and 75% Hardness begin to remove some of the intensity of the scratches around the middle area of the image.
8. To tie in all the elements of this picture, drag the final paper looking texture onto the image, and set the layer style to Multiply and Opacity to 100%.
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Photoshop CS5 Tutorials & CS5 Resources
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Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range