The Vintage Multiple Choice action produces 11 layers for you to blend into your vintage style.
The action does not produce automatic results, it’s up to you to finesse the options – but it’s results have an authentic antique, vintage and aged print look.
Who is this action for?
Intermediate to Advanced Photoshop users looking for a starting point for authentic, malleable vintage effects.
How does this action work?
The action produces 11 layers for you to blend and interact with giving you 285311670611 possible combinations for your photo styling pleasure! You can use the layer masks and layer blending modes to reach the creative potential of your images. The action set is a palette of paints for you to finesse into your masterpiece, it is not a shortcut but a workflow. If you are really interested in the vintage look, you’ll want to distress the image in custom ways so that it looks aged differently on different parts of the photo.
Here is a series of screenshots of the eleven example layers – first is the original image for reference as you see the changes:
^ original image – return for comparisions ^
The soft light smoothing layer is a basic retouch method that nearly everyone’s familiar with, it’s at the bottom.
The Simple Vintage B+W layer is one of 6 custom curve layers operating in the LAB color space. You can quickly paint in a little black into your layer mask to provide a variably aged look.
The reddened antique curve layer complements the green layer below it – if you are hoping to provide a vintage color look, the emulsions of prints tend to fade either red or green – you can custom mix them by local area or overall tonality (see green layer).
The funktifier green layer has a tone-map auto loaded. A tone map is a layer mask that uses the same lightness values as the image, providing a green tone to the shadows of the image. You can alter your tone map with a curve, or you can alter the curve adjustment layer to alter the hue or saturation of the green.
Muted and bleached Sepia layer which lightens your shadow zones and mutes(darkens) your highlights to a ruddy sepia color. This is your basic faded sepia look that you can dial in and customize for your image. Double click the curve adjustment layer to open it and operate with the surgical artistic destiny of your intuition.
Lens Leak layer 1 – Pay attention here folks, this is a trick to mimic the light leaks on film from old or leaky bellows. It takes into consideration your image as it builds the effect.
Light Leak option 2 – a stronger effect of the light leak – blend it into your image for that variable look that the years of aging produce.
Bleached shadows color layer – this layer mimics a light bleaching of the print, a delicate darkroom process that would take you a few months to master if you were doing this 10 years ago. It’s also an effect of the aging emulsion, so build up your taste for the effects of aging by looking at plenty of old pictures. Good taste makes good pictures – not actions.
Basic low color desaturation layer.
Grain texture layer.
Vintage texture layer @100% – mix in to taste – this is an auto generated texture, so I suggest a light hand. Custom textures are included in the Vintage Master package.
Here’s the results of my custom vintage processing of these two example images
My creative intentions were to capitalize on the dramatic eye contact and the sparkle of that ROCK. To do so, I went completely black in the shadows, but kept them a warm, chocolaty black, the major desaturation is matched with a slight warm highlight hue – making the overall image nearly a duotone – one highlight value, and one shadow value. I worked to channel the feminine power in the gaze, into the tonality and impression of the entire image.
Completely opposite in tone and intention, I felt the feminine grace of this pose and chose to follow that direction in my retouching. Whereas the ring shot was sharpened by an increase in contrast this image was softened by gaussian blur and custom texture overlay from the Beautiful Blurs Volume 2. I used the blur to focus attention on the back of the dress and hairpiece. Overall this image never gets to completely black, and the highlights buzz with a soft lightening texture.
I hope this discussion is valuable to you as you seek to find the expression in your images.