photoshop creative

Free Tutorial: Create the Hipstamatic effect

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
February 1, 2013

For nearly 30 years, the Hipstamatic camera effect has ruled the creative world of photography. Here’s how to design your own in Photoshop


Before Hipstamatic effect


Hipstamatic effect


Download the start image for this tutorial for free.

Step 1 – Crop to square

The first step to take is with the Crop tool (C). Holding Shift, drag a perfectly square cropping outline over the image. Slide the cropping outline across the image until positioned over the people and boat.




Step 2 – Reduce image quality

Add the Levels adjustment layer using the black and white icon in the Layers palette. Move the black pointer to 12 and the white pointer to 182. Below this, on the Output Levels, change the white pointer to 216. When done, lower the layer’s Opacity to 70%.





Step 3 – Position light leak

Go back into the list of adjustment layers and add the Gradient option. Before altering any settings, change its blend mode to Lighten and the Opacity to 50%. Open the adjustment and, in the pop-up window, set Style to Reflected, Angle to 22 and Scale to 120%. Untick the Reverse box.





Step 4 – Add colour

To change the colour of the light leak, click the gradient preview box to open the Editor. You can use any colours you like, but for the ones here, change the left swatch to red (#bd1f00) and the right swatch to yellow (#fbf247). Slide their positions around to create different balances of the two tones and hit OK when done.





Step 5 – Blend a white layer

Insert a new blank layer at the top of the image stack by using the Create a new layer button in the palette. Go to Edit>Fill and choose white for the Contents and hit OK. Change its blend mode to Multiply in the Layers palette and go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise.




Step 6 – Add grain

In the Add Noise filter, change the Amount to 15%. This determines how many specks of noise are added and the density. Set Distribution to Uniform and tick the Monochromatic box. Hit OK and, if needed, lower the layer’s Opacity to 50% to reduce the impact of the grain.




Step 7 – Brush tool setup

To create the border, first add a new blank layer to the top of the palette and select your Brush tool. Open the Brushes palette (Window>Brushes) and load up the Wet Media Brushes by clicking on the small arrow at the top right of the palette. Choose the Dry Brush 1 tip, set its Diameter to 170px and Spacing to 1%.





Step 8 – Paint a frame

Tick the Dual Brush option in the Brushes palette and change the Mode (found just above the thumbnails) to Color Burn. Select Sampled Tip 29, change Diameter to 60px, Spacing to 35%, Scatter to 290% and Count to 4. Apply the brush around the edges of the image, holding Shift as you go for perfectly straight lines.