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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo Preset

Hi Everyone!!

It's been a while since I posted a Lightroom tutorial so I thought I'd get one out to you all!!  Today I'll show how you can use Adobe Lightroom to turn an ordinary photo into a vintage-looking photo AND show you how to create a preset to apply to all your photos! 

Below is the before/after of how the vintage photo preset will look like.  Normally, I 'm not a big fan of lots of photo processing but for this one event it was a hotel re-opening in our historic "Old Town" and everyone dressed up so I thought this style would be perfect!  If you'd like to view the rest of the photos of the event you can take a look at that blog post

Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


OK, first let's pick a photo to start with.  First, you'll want to get all of your foundational settings dialed.  If you don't know how to do that, check out this earlier blog post on that

Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


For this photo I actually nailed the exposure so I didn't make any adjustments other than changing the white balance.  After that, I used the Adjustment Brush (K) with the "Brighten Eyes" setting to, well, brighten the eyes a bit.  Just that adjustment alone can really make portraits pop! 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Next up, I scrolled down to Split Toning and applied a subdued yellow to the Highlights.  (My settings are 70 for hue and 33 for saturation). 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Then for the shadows I chose a darker orange to help give even more depth to this "sepia" look. 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Then I shift the balance a little more toward the shadows with the "Balance" slider to "-20". 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


To get that grainy, old photo feel I go to the Effects panel and add some grain.  My settings there are 44 for amount, 61 for size, and 68 for roughness. 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Finally to add just a little more punch and effect, I boost the curve to "strong contrast" and add a post-crop vignette.  (Amount -56, Midpoint 70, Roundness -42, Feather 64, Highlights 0)
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Here you can see the before/after.
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Now that I'm happy with how the vintage photo looks, I'll create a preset.  By only checking certain items, I can now "stack" this preset onto my photos and this preset will "add" to a photo.  For example, if I need to change the exposure for one photo, I can still apply this preset and it won't override that exposure adjustment.  Neat, huh!!
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Here you can see that I have five photos from this event that I want to apply this vintage photo effect to.  I will select all five photos and hit (D) to go to the develop module. 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


Make sure you have the Auto Sync turned on.
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo



Now all you have to do is apply your "Vintage Photo" preset...
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


And voila!  All your photos now have that vintage photo look to them! 
Lightroom Tutorial: How to Create a Vintage Photo


OK, so there were several different concepts going on here in this tutorial that I grouped together into a working example.  Creative uses of Lightroom settings, presets, and applying presets to many photos.  I used specific examples to walk you through how I set this up but I encourage you to do your own experimenting to create and setup your own photo styles and make your own presets.  Now, you won't ever have to buy a "premade" preset again!!

9 comments:

  1. This is a great tutorial. I've been looking for something like this in LR, but it most of the tutorials are in PS. Thanks!

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Geoff!! Is there anything else that you might want me to write about for Lightroom?

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  3. This is just fantastic thank you. As someone just getting into digital SLR photography, your tutorials are so helpful. Thanks so much!

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  4. Glad they have been helpful!

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