Category: Photoshop Tips
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6
Working with images on the computer amazes me… especially old photos. Knowing the time and effort involved decades ago in actually taking and developing a photo makes me want to know the importance of that particular image. Why was the photo taken? What was the occasion? What is the story behind the photo? This is what makes me get so excited about digital scrapbooking. We can add the story so years from now there is no wondering why a series of photographs were taken.
My family attended World War 2 Days this fall and came home with hundreds of photos and a renewed appreciation of the sacrifice veterans make. During the reenactments it was announced that there were some WWII veterans in attendance. Knowing this, I wanted to create a page to remember those who served. This of course, would mean making a reverse restoration. What is that? Exactly what it sounds like, making something new look old. I’ve done photo restoration before and enjoy the challenges that type of work brings. However, for this particular scrapbook page I wanted to do the exact opposite of restoring a photo. I wanted to age a digital photo. First, I chose the Army Collection for the main look of the page.
Let me take you through the steps to create an “old-looking” digital photo:
1. Make a copy of your image so you will always have the original in your files.
2. Go to Image> Adjustments> Black & White. Here are the settings I used:
3. To make the photo look more tattered and old, run one of the Actions from ScrapSimple Tools – Actions: Tattered Photo 2 Photoshop. This did most of the work for me.
4. Digital photos usually don’t have the same grainy look as film photography did. Add some grain to the photo by going to Filter> Filter Gallery> Texture> Grain and using the settings Intensity=32, Contrast=43, and Grain Type=Regular.
5. Film cameras also didn’t take super sharp photos (no HD back in the day), so add a little blur to the photo as well. Go to Filter> Blur> Lens Blur and adjust the radius slider for the amount of blur you want to use.
6. You can be done with the reverse-restoration at this point. I like to take mine just one step further by using the Brush Set: Ultimate Grunge on the photo. Make a new layer above your photo to do the brushwork on. This way you can lower the opacity of the grunge you are adding.
There you have it! Give any photo that vintage feel and step back into history. If you do any “reverse restoration”, please post your creations in the Scrap Girls gallery. I’d love to see how creatively you use this technique!
Digital scrapbooking products used:
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Tools – Actions: Tattered Photo 2 Photoshop and ScrapSimple Paper Templates: 8.5×11 Antiquities 3 are also available.