Achieving a vintage look

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by prophet, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    A similar question to what I asked lately: how can I achieve this retro look in post: Carla by Ben haïm David - Photo 148913857 - 500px

    Judging from what I have learned from the previous thread, I assume it is desaturating colours a bit, decrease contrast?
  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yep. Decrease contrast, desaturate, pull up the tone curve so there are no true blacks or whites (like so), add grain, and add colour shifts (commonly split-toning with blue in shadows, yellow in highlights, and a warmer white balance).


    It's become sort of a cliched look these days, though, so be careful about overdoing it. Desaturated VSCO-style shots today are like vibrant HDR was a few years ago.

    You can also add in fake sun glow / flare with the adjustment brush. To give it a soft look, you can also turn the sharpening to zero, amp up the noise reduction, and then turn off the noise reduction and add sharpening locally to the areas you want to draw attention to. Here's a quick 5 minute attempt, not sure if it captures what you want or not:

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  3. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    my 2¢..."Retro" in post just looks kinda off to me. Maybe because all I have to do is look in my drawer for real retro for comparison. I embraced digital to get away from retro. Almost but not quite just looks bad to me but that's just MHO and not worth much :)  Sorry, no help from me, carry on...
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  4. Joe Smith

    Joe Smith Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 6, 2016
    And don't forget some ice cubes for the nipples. :)  That said, I second PacNWMike's post: I find it pretty hilarious that people want to create that soft, low contrast, grainy and colour shifted look which I worked hard to try to overcome back then.
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  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I generally prefer to shoot film for that kind of look (though ironically, the new Kodak Portra and Ektar 100 film that I shoot is anything but grainy, low-contrast, or desaturated!), but it's still an interesting exercise to look at an image and try and replicate the style. I know there are loads of presets for achieving exactly the look the OP is looking for (and in fact, the linked image probably was a canned preset), but if you aren't processing dozens of photos, it can still be fun to try it "by hand" as it doesn't take long. Even if it's not necessarily for me, I know a lot of people would prefer the "feel" of the After image I posted.

    But yes, the nipple ice cubes were clearly one of the more important aspects of the production for that particular image.
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