photoshop creative

Hand tint images

Posted in:
Magazine, by The Photoshop Creative Team
May 16, 2011

Add some vintage glamour to your modern photos by learning how to apply a hand tint effect to them.

Creating a vintage effect is a very popular trend at the moment within the Photoshop community. As it’s so easy to achieve, we thought we would show you how to do it using a modern holiday snap as your starting image. An aged photo could be a good option to work with, but they do require a lot of retouching before the project can even begin. Consider time constraints and choose the best image for your project.

In this tutorial we are using Photoshop CS5, but older versions can get great results too. You’ll just need to substitute in alternative methods or tools in places.

A whole host of techniques are used over the next few pages but our main focus will be hand colouring for a truly authentic feel. To get this great effect will require some time, as we will be using the Quick Mask tool to separate individual areas and colours within the start photo. Once the image has been broken up with this mode, we will add a Color Balance adjustment layer with a clipping mask to each and then select our colours with sliders.

Start by duplicating the first layer so you always have an original version to revert to. To do this drag the Background layer over the Create new layer icon at the base of the Layers palette. Also, before beginning, make sure your image is in RGB mode or the black and white conversion techniques will not work. With this done we are ready to commence operation vintage postcard!

This is an excerpt from a tutorial in issue 74 of Photoshop Creative. You can order a copy by visiting

  • Eleanor DeYoung

    Just considering vintage photographs –taking a step further (is this the place for this?).
    Please consider an article about photography using “senior citizens” as the models –not the youthful “prettys”. I volunteer to take photos of people in “assisted” homes. So often the family forgets that they might want a photo of their grandparents as they age. . .until it is too late.
    Photographing those faces with their indelible character is very rewarding, but how to best “prepare” them for printing is sometimes a shot in the dark. I’d like to see such an article. Love “Creative Photography” even though in US (Michigan) we get it about 2 months later!