In this tutorial we are going to take a regular, boring photo and liven it up using with some effects to give it more of a retro feel to it. We are then going to take the photo and create a background for it to lie on.
Grab the photo we are going to use, and open it up in Photoshop. Now we are going to do some quick retouching on the photo, so first we are going to straighten it the horizon line. Click and hold down the eyedropper tool in the tool bar and click on the ruler tool. Click and drag a line following the lines in the water, then go to image>rotate canvas>arbitrary. Crop out the white edges.
Now do control + L to bring up the levels and adjust them to something like what I have, keeping in mind that you don’t want to lose the details in the house.
We want to get our photo to have a color balance that is off, like how older photos are. So we are going to make our photo overly red. To do this we are going to go into the color balance with control + b. Change your settings to something like I have below.
Now open up your hue/saturation with control + u. Change the settings like I have them.
Next we are going to give a gradient to the image, this is going to give us some darker contrast and wash out the photo a little more. So create a new layer with control + shift + n. Click on your gradient tool and choose the orange to blue gradient. Click and drag the gradient from the top of the document to bottom so the orange is on the top and the blue is on the bottom. Change the blend mode to Soft Light, and the opacity to 20%.
Now we are going to darken the edges. Click on the square marquee tool and change the feather to 100px. Click and drag a square across the entire image, then do control + shift + i to get the inverse. Fill the area with black. Change the blend mode to overlay.
Now we are going to give this image a border. Create a new layer and select the square marquee tool again. Change the feather back down to 0px. Now click and drag a square around the entire image. Go to Edit>Stroke, and change the color to an off white and the stroke to 20px.
That is our retro image, but we can take this one step further. Since this is an old photo why not make it look stained too. Download the top left image on this page and bring into our document. Rotate and re size the texture with control + t, so that it fits the entire image. Change the blend mode to linear burn.
Now we want to get rid of the dark part of the texture, so we just have just the stains. Open up the curves with control + m and adjust it so there is no black, something like what I have.
Lets keep going with this image and add a background. Go ahead and download this image and bring it into a new 1680×1050 document.
Go into your levels, control + L and hue/saturation, control + u and change your settings to like what I have below.
Go back to our photo, do control + shift + e to merge all the visible layers, then drag it into the new document and resize and angle it.
Click on the gradient tool, choose the radial gradient, (with the color #F9EECC) click and drag from the top left corner towards the middle of the document. Change the blend mode to overlay. Drag the gradient below the photo layer.
Now we are going to give a shadow and gradient overlay to the photo. Click on the circle with the F at the bottom of the layers palette and change the settings to something like I have.
There you have it, a retro looking photo, plus a whole lot more.
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