it is probably ridiculous, to take a perfectly fine, recent, good quality photo, and make it look aged and distressed. i mean, other people take their really old photos, and refresh them to make them look 'newer' and better.. but i have always been a little different.
to me, photoshop is also an expression of my creativity. so although i love 'normal' photos, i also really enjoy the creative process that is photoshop.
sometimes i like to open a photo in photoshop, and just play around with it. that is the best way to learn anything anyway. and this is something i discovered while playing.
i will show you what i do. this is not the 'right' way, or even the best way. it is just the way i played and experimented and stumbled to create this:
this is carli. this photo was taken 80 years ago end of last year. she is unwrapping christmas gifts. it actually looked like this:
it is cute this way too.
here we go:
open a photo that you want to experiment with in photoshop. i use photoshop elements 6, but any version should work similarly. do basic crops and edits. i like to save the image at this stage, before i work on it further, so i have the 'original but improved' version.
when i save an image, i like to be specific with the name. i will call the one with the basic edits something like 'carli'. then i might change to sepia, and save it as 'carli sepia'. then i might add a frame, and call it 'carli sepia frame', and so forth. it just makes it easier for me to find the right photo when i need it, especially if i didn't like a specific edit. sometimes i call it 'carli a' and then 'carli b', 'carli c' etc. each save has a further edit.
now, open a new layer. decide if you want to change your photo to black and white, or to sepia. play with both, if you don't like it, go back a step or delete the layer, and try the other.
that little brown apple is the button you click on to change to sepia, then click on 'apply' just below the apple.
see, sepia! just below the 'apply' button, is a button that says 'opacity'. if you click on it, a slider appears. move the slider about, play with it and see what happens. a few of the colors from the photo below will start showing through. i like that it is a little pinker, a little warmer.
being pinker and warmer is always good...
i moved my slider to 80%, but you do what you like. if you are completely happy with the effect, then right click on the little photo to the right again, and click on 'flatten image'. if you want, you can save here.
remember that it works exactly the same in black and white.
now, let's play a little further.
when you have flattened your layers, you will have one sepia photo sitting in your editor, and no other layers.
now, right click on the layers, and select 'duplicate layer'. now you have 2 identical photos sitting above each other in the layer area. find the opacity slider, and start moving it down. you will not notice much difference, until you use the little eye icon next to the bottom layer, and switch that layer off. now you will see that the top layer is becoming transparent.
play around with the opacity slider, until you are happy with the effect. you can right click on the layers, select 'flatten layers' to see what it will look like, and if you are not satisfied, click on edit - unflatten layers, and your layers will pop up again, and you can play some more.
you see, it creates a beautifully soft effect.
a beautifully soft effect is quite flattering. i wish i could do that in the mirror in the mornings...
for a list of digital elements used in this post and elsewhere on this blog, look here.
please leave me a comment if you like this, or don't like this, or have something to add. thanks.
you can see my other photoshop tutorials here.
jacki janse van rensburg - SCRAPPIN TIMES scrapbook shop, benoni, gauteng, south africa