3 Steps to Creating Retro Tones in Photoshop

Instagram filters and Pinterest boards have increased the popularity of post-processing with retro tones. This look is easy to create in Photoshop. The basic steps combine a cream-colored fill layer, dark blue layer set to exclusion and levels adjustment (blue channel only).

After opening up your image in Photoshop, select Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Select white (#ffffff) or a soft rosy pastel color (#f6ebeb works great). Choose a low opacity like 10% and set this layer to Screen for a light hazy effect.

Next, follow the same steps, but choose a dark blue (#0c0c93 and #05275a are my favorites). Setting this layer to Exclusion at a medium to high opacity like 70% creates a warm honey tone.

The last step is adding a cool vintage hue using a levels adjustment only altering the blue channel.

To create a moderate effect, highlight the first layer in the palette and also select the last one. On the top menu under Layers, click on Group Layers.

Adjust the opacity to taste.

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    • I think what would really help is if you make those steps, save it in the Photoshop format and offer it as a download. 

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    • Great, a way to simulate the worst results the world of film had to offer. 

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    • I made these steps into an action for you :) Download "Retro Love II" along with other free actions at http://www.pamelatopping.com/photoshop-actions/free/

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    • Beautiful effect!

      Thankyou for the tip

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    • ...or you can go really oldschool and just take an image with a crappy camera  ;-)   

      not a comment on your nice and helpful article btw.  

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    • Pamela - I used this technique for a few pictures taken at my son's 1st birthday.  I loved it!  Thanks for sharing with us!  I hope you'll share more.

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