Ageing a Digital Image

I only have two photography classes before we break up for Christmas. We finished our last project last week, so I decided this week we would look at some fun photo editing and then next week would be a lesson on how to photograph Christmas.

In this spirit I also made a video on ageing a picture for you my readers.

This tutorial is not strictly on aging a photo and how to fake an old photo but more to get the feeling of an old photo.

In the tutorial I use three techniques.

The first technique I used was called Half Sepia. This is a technique where it tones only have you image. To do this you need to make a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer and create a sepia tone by clicking colourize and setting the hue to about 25-36 and saturation to about 25. Then click on the layer mask and go Image – apply image setting the Layer as background, Channel to RGB, Invert – Checked, Blending – Normal, Opacity – 100%

The second technique is called antique burn. This creates a darkening effect to siumlate a picture which has faded darker due to the image not being fixed in the bark room long enough or becuase the fix solution was not of a good quality. I duplicated the layer and set the blending mode to difference and then went Filter- Artistic – Neon Glow with the Glow Size set to 5, Brightness to 15 and Glow Colour – blue. Create an adjustment layer Levels and set the levels as 0, 0.1, 255. I grouped the layers and used the elliptical selection tool to create a mask.

The third technique is called vintage fog. This is to simulate the inaccurate optics on older cameras. I duplicated the back ground layer setting the blending to overlay and go Filter – Blue – Lens Blur with the settings Radius 33 Blade Curve 59 Rotation 97 Brightness 0 Threshold 255 Noise 0. I create a new Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer, clicking colourize setting hue to – 10 saturation to 50. I then duplicated the lens blur layer several times or to taste. I grouped the layers and created a layer mask using the Elliptical selection tool again.

The final part was top add a texture and vignette.


I think the image works quite well. It has a feel of a defected lens and with the half sepia effect it gives a strange painted colour look. I also like the sprayed water texture that makes it seem as if either a mistake was made in printing the picture of the picture has not been well looked after. Overall I like it more now than when i made the video.

What do you think? Has the editing taken the image too far? Let me know, positively or negatively using the comment section below.

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