What We’ll Be Creating
Before we jump right into all the good stuff, you first need a photo or image to start with. I’ll be using the image below, a photo with a street view in America.
Removing The Color & Adding Some Texture
Open up your photo in photoshop, right click on your background layer and select “Duplicate Layer” from the menu. Rename the duplicated layer “Original Copy”.
With your duplicated layer selected go to “Image > Adjustments > Desaturate” (Shift + Ctrl + U) then add some texture by going to “Filter > Texture > Grain”, use the settings below.
Now add the noise filter “Filter > Noise > Add Noise”, again use the settings below.
You should have something like this.
Tinting The Image
Most old photographs appear to have a brownish colored tint to them, so to try and replicate this we’ll just simply add a block of color. Make sure your duplicated layer is selected then click the “New Adjustments Layer” icon.
Once you’ve clicked the “New Adjustments Layer” icon select “Hue/Saturation” from the menu.
Once selected add the following settings into the “Hue/Saturation” Panel.
Create a new layer above your hue/saturation adjustment layer then label this new layer “Brown Border”. Select the “Paint Bucket Tool” (G) then fill your layer with the color #9c4210. Now select the “Eraser tool” (E). In the Brush palette select a soft-edged brush of a size of roughly 300. Erase most of the middle section from the colored layer. Fade the eeffect by setting the opacity of this layer to 30-40%.
Enhancing The Photo’s Lightness
To make the image seem more faded create a new layer above your “Brown Border” layer then simply fill (G) the new layer with the color white #ffffff. Once you’ve filled the layer with the color white rename the layer then set the opacity to around 20%.
Were now going to make the image look cloudy, create a new layer underneath your white fill layer then rename this layer “Clouds Layer”. Set your foreground color to #995f38 and background color to #ffffff, then go to “Filter > Render > Clouds”.
Now go to “Filter > Blur > Motion Blur”, use the settings below.
Change the blend mode of your “Clouds Layer” to “Hard Light” then set opacity to around 38-40%. You should have something like this.
Download some grunge brushes from your favorite photoshop brush resource, any grunge brush set should do the job, then with the color white randomly add some grunge marks to the image.
Incorporate Wrinkled Paper
In the next following steps I’ll be showing you how to make your own wrinkled paper texture, feel free to use a scanned image of wrinkled paper or a stock photo.
Create a new layer at the top of your stack then label this layer “Paper”. Reset your background and foreground colors to black and white (D) then select the “Gradient Tool” (G) with the following settings.
Once you’ve applied the settings randomly drag numerous gradients over the canvas. You will have a completely different set of wrinkles every time you do this so don’t worry if your image looks nothing like mine.
Now go to “Filter > Stylize > Emboss”.
Set your “Paper Layers” blend mode to “Hard Light”, you should have something like this.
Burning The Edges
Select all of your canvas by press “Ctrl + A” then go to “Edit > Copy Merged” (Ctrl + Shift + C). Now go to “Edit > Paste” (Ctrl + V), rename your new pasted layer to “Complete”. Hide all your layers apart from your “Complete Layer” then select the “Eraser Tool” (E) then with a soft noisy brush remove the edges from around the photo.
Now select the “Burn Tool” (O) and burn around the edges of your “Complete Layer”.
Finally un-hide all your hidden layers, you should be left with something like this.
Thanks for taking the time to try this tutorial, I’ll look forward to your results & comments.
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Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.