The Vintage Look

I see a lot of photographers post-process their digital photos to make them look “vintage”, so I thought I’d experiment a bit to see how it’s done. But first, I needed some photos to play with, so I dragged Kathy out this afternoon to be my model.

Once I had the photos, I looked around online for tutorials. Somewhat frustratingly, a lot of search hits took me to sites that were trying to sell Photoshop Actions, but I found this site that offered free Actions — but more importantly, breakdowns of what the actions were doing. I played around with some of the Actions on the site and settled on a modified version of Johnna’s Tea Party. I basically followed steps 1-5, then jumped straight to step 10, except I used Overlay instead of Soft Light for step 10. I set all of the adjustment layers to 35% opacity except for the Saturation layer in step 1.

Here’s the result:

To get a better idea of what’s going on, here’s a before/after comparison — before is on the left and after is on the right.

I also tried the Action on a couple of photos from the last post, just to see how they’d turn out. I think it works pretty well, but the effect is more subtle.


We spent Christmas Eve this year with my family, Christmas with friends, and the day after Christmas with Kathy’s family. I didn’t really take pictures at the family events (too hectic), but I took a few at Christmas dinner.

Kathy and I had read an article on how to take pictures with shaped bokeh a while ago, but these were the first pictures using the technique that turned out well.

Kathy took this one.

Thanks for having us over, guys! (And for letting us use your Christmas tree for our bokeh experiments!)