After talking so much about the downside to photo manipulation, I thought it would be a nice contrast to talk about the upside. Lately, it seems like the damaged look of old photos has come back into style. Therefore, I’ve gathered a few fun tutorials that will give photos a vintage look.

The first two tutorials I chose demonstrate the HDR effect. I love the way HDR looks on a photo, especially the way it changes the sky and makes the clouds more defined. The first of the tutorials shows how to create the HDR look with three* photos in different exposures. This is the best way to do it. However, sometimes there’s no access to three* photos, so the second tutorial shows how to fake the HDR effect.

For the HDR effect I used an original photo taken from the top of the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take two different photos for an HDR effect, so for my photo I used the fake HDR tutorial. It didn’t turn out quite the way that I wanted it to, but I love the colors and the clouds. In reality, any Photoshop effect takes a lot of tweaking and even little adjustments can make a big difference.

The next tutorial I found was one that I call the “old effect”, basically it makes the photo look washed out and cracked from old age.

The second group of photos are the Parliament Building in Victoria Canada. I thought this building was very majestic and it would fit well as an old photo. Again, I made a few changes from the tutorial, but I like the overall effect.

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Lastly, there are two other tutorials that I think would be fun to play with. The first is giving a photo a green tinted vintage look. The second tutorial shows how to give photos a gritty effect and define the lines and wrinkles in a person’s face.

I hope you’ll enjoy exploring and playing with some of these effects as much as I did.

*4/11/12 EDIT: I wrote two instead of three here. HDR actually needs three photos. One underexposed, one overexposed and one with the correct exposure.

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