How to Create an Old Photo Effect in Photoshop

How to Create an Old Photo Effect in Photoshop

Turn your new photo into an old photo with the help of this tutorial. This tutorial was made with Photoshop CS6 but is suitable for most of the Photoshop versions since it only uses the basic features of Photoshop.

I have also created a premium action and PSD template that you can easily create the old photo effect. Be sure to check it out!

Old photo effect for Photoshop

Let’s get started! You can get the free photo that we are using in this tutorial from Pixabay.

Step 1 – Add Adjustment Layer
Add the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

First on the adjustment layer check the ‘Colorize’ option. Now adjust the hue to your liking, I set it to +39. I also want a little less colorization in my photo so I lowered the Saturation to 15. I also want to give the image a bit of lightness to give it a old photo look, so I adjusted the Lightness to +10.

Step 2 – Add Noise
Before we add noise to the photo turn your photo in to a smart object so if needed you can change the smart filter adjustment later and this way we’ll work non destructively. First double click the background layer to unlock it, then right click the image and select ‘Convert to Smart Object’.

To add noise to the photo go to Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise. For this photo I added 8% noise but the amount depends of the size of your photo. Our image is relatively big (4928 x 3264px) so 8% seems fine.

Step 3 – Add Grain
Next create a new layer and fill it with black. Then go to Filter -> Filter Gallery -> Texture -> Grain. Set the intesity to 70 and contrast to 80, set the grain type to: Vertical. Hit ok once ready. If the lines of grain are too much , you can strech (CTRL + T) the grain layer horizontally and add a layer mask and brush off some of the grain.

The image is basically ready and you could leave it as is but we are going to make it even more worn out.

Step 4 – Textures
Download the 3 textures:  Texture 01Texture 02 | Texture 03 |
From the S3PTIC-STOCK texture pack bring in texture 97. Put it below the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Flip it horizontal and stretch it to fit the image. Set the blend mode to: Multiply

Then bring in Grungy-paper-texture-v-3-22966224 and place it on the left side of the photo and stretch it all the way from top to bottom (but not left to right). Set the blend mode to: Multiply, add a layer mask and brush off with a soft brush the hard edges that are visible.

Now bring in the texture Grungy-paper-texture-v-11-50502138 and place it on the right side and do the same as previous.

Step 5 – Photo Frame
Last we are going to add the photo frame. This is as well optional and can add it if it suits your photo. Draw a rectangle like on the photo below and place it below all the texture layers, including the grain layer. The color of the rectangle doesn’t matter since the inside of the rectangle will not be visible.

Double click the layer to edit the layer styles and lower the fill to 0%. Then add white stroke (#ffffff), Position: Outside and set the size big enough so that it reaches all the way to the edges of the photo.

If you have some nice brushes you can add some more stains to the frames.

That’s it! Our vintage photo is ready.

Same style on a another photo from Pixabay:

Old photo effect
I followed all the steps above and on top of that added a curves layer to give the photo a more washed out look.

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