photoshop creative

How to create aged image effects in Photoshop

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
August 30, 2012

Here’s a free tutorial for putting years back into your photos for that aged, vintage look, using adjustment layers and filters



Aged photo effect

Step 1 – Hue/Saturation adjustment

Start with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and reduce the Saturation down to 0. This turns the image completely black and white. Because this is an adjustment layer, we can come back to it later for changing colours and adding colour back in if needed.

Step 2 – Gradient Map adjustment

Apply a Gradient Map adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer) and open the Gradient Editor. Set the gradient to the preset Violet, Orange. If you can’t see this particular one, you’ll need to reset the gradients using the option inside the Editor’s sidebar menu. Lower the Opacity of the adjustment layer to 40% to reduce the impact of the colours.

Step 3 – Add noise

Duplicate the Background layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and then head to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set this to Monochromatic, Uniform and Amount 15%. This will degrade the quality of the image slightly, but increase the Amount slider to make the noise more obvious. Use the Preview box to view the main image with or without the effect.

Step 4 – Fade edges

To fade the details around the edges to further age the image, go to Filter>Lens Correction. Find the Vignette section and change the Amount to +70. This applies a white border around the image, most notably in the corners. Going the other way with the Amount slider will apply a black vignette effect. When you hit OK, the image will have all the adjustment layers, as well as this white vignette.

Step 5 – Back to Hue/Saturation

Go back to the Hue/Saturation adjustment by double-clicking on its layer’s thumbnail. Increase the Lightness slider to +10% to reduce the impact of the shadows if your image is high in contrast, and this will complete the aged image effect.

  • Derek Hattersley

    Convert to greyscale and use duotone for the same result with less effort.