Monday, February 12, 2007
Use photoshop actions to give new photos an antique finish
Transforming an old photograph into one that looks as though it was taken with one of today's top-of-the-line digital SLRs is relatively easy in Adobe Photoshop CS2 and other image-editing programs. You'll find many retouching and restoration articles on the topic on the web and in photography and Photoshop magazines.
In this column, we're taking a look at the opposite effect, however: transforming a recent photograph into one that looks as though it was taken yesteryear. The techniques here are fast and easy. Let's go!
1. We'll begin with a picture of a man I took in Hong Kong, on film in 1976. He's asking me for a dollar. I had already paid him a dollar to take his picture and was about to take another. His hand went up before I could snap the shutter for a second time. I forked over another dollar bill. The bucks were well worth it.
2. In Photoshop CS2, I wanted to apply the Aged Photo Action. (An Action applies different combinations of effects/enhancements/filters, etc., with one click of the Action button.) The Aged Photo Action isn't listed in the default Actions palette, however, so it needed to be loaded. To load it, I first clicked on the fly-out arrow (see my red arrow) in the Actions palette and then clicked on Image Effects, the bundle of Actions that includes Aged Photo.
3. Here's a look at the Actions palette after all the Image Effects had been loaded (in about a second). I circled Aged Photo to make it easy for you to see it.
4. Hey, remember I said that clicking on an Action button applies several different effects/enhancements/filters with the click of your mouse? Well, this screenshot of the History palette shows the steps involved when the Aged Photo Action is applied. As you'll see, a new layer was created as well.
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