photoshop creative

How to apply the Holga effect in Photoshop

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
October 23, 2012

Here’s just one way the Holga effect can be created in this free Photoshop tutorial



Holga effect in Photoshop

Step 1 – Apply filter

With an image open in Photoshop, press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the Background layer, and then go to the Filter menu. Find Blur>Radial Blur and set the Radius slider to 4 and Method to Zoom. Hit OK and you should see the edges of your image distort slightly.

Step 2 – Add Noise

To add noise go back to the Filter menu, but this time into Noise>Add Noise. Set the Amount slider to around 14, Gaussian Distribution and the Monochromatic box ticked.

Step 3 – Vignette

To darken the corners of the image for a vignette, head to Filter>Lens Correction. Among the many sliders inside this filter, the only one you’ll need to adjust is Vignette! Slide the Amount down to -100 and hit OK.

Step 4 – Add Levels adjustment

The Levels adjustment allows us to play with the colours as well as lighting. Add a new Levels adjustment layer from the base of the Layers palette.

Step 5 – Adjust green

In Levels, change it to Green from the default RGB. Enter 68 and 191 inside the two boxes under Output Levels to distort the colours.

Step 6 – Adjust blue

Change this from Green to Blue and enter 102 and 166 in Output Levels, as shown in this image below.

Step 7 – Adjust red

Change to Red, but this time edit the boxes directly under the graph. Enter 52 in the left box and 1.97 in the middle box. This completes the changes we need to make to the Levels adjustment.

Step 8 – Hue/Saturation

Lastly, add the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (from the same area as Levels) and boost the Saturation slider to 30, with Master set at the top. The red should become more prominent in this image. As the Holga covers many styles of distortion, these adjustments are all down to personal preference.

For more great colour tricks and ideas, including our top 5 monochromes, grab issue 93 which is on sale now. There’s a 10% discount for orders up until 24th December too!

  • Derek Hattersley

    A long winded way to achieve a simple style. Using the blur tool with mutiply on your layer palette then use curves, could not be easier.