So is it an art to create Vintage photos? Well yes but it doesn't have to be. This photo I did of Tom Cruise took me about 15 minutes. And I am quite happy with the results. Below I will tell you what you need if you want to create something like the Tom Cruise photo. Why Tom Cruise? He is gorgeous...I don't think I need any other reason and he looks awesome in vintage.
Ok so here is what you will need. You will have to have some kind of photo editing software and happily there are free ones out there. The cool thing is I didn't use any advanced tools in any of the programs. Anyone should be able to do this. You can download Adobe Photoshop for a free trial, or download Gimp, (which I find to be a bit non user friendly) but there are many out there just google free Photoshop programs. They will need to be able to erase, airbrush and create layers. The Tom cruise vintage photo was done with 3 layers. The original photo, a piece of digital grunge paper, and an old tin type frame. That's it. You can find these items again by doing a simple search on google.
When typing in "Grunge Paper" to Google there are many choices. This is one that I found cool.
Now that we have our three images we need to meld them together. You want to start a "New" Image in your chosen program under the top left corner menu choice of "file". I chose a 8X10 inch format and 150 DPI if your program asks. DPI is the resolution in "dots per inch" The higher that resolution the better your print outs will be but 300DPI is HUGE and you will probably only need 150 or less. Images on the net are usually set at 72 DPI. The reason I choose an 8X10" size is so that I have room to move things around and work just like a table. I can crop it later using a simple cropping tool.
Now you want to open each of your images into 3 different layers. As shown in the red circle below.
By clicking on the layers you want and then right clicking you should be able to alter them. We want to take our Grunge paper layer and make is 50% transparent.
You can see that by pushing the now 50% transparent layer over the top of Jenn's photo she already is starting to look vintage. WOOT! Now you will do just that. Take that transparent layer and move it completely over the photo. Now usually I would never adjust an image from the sides but in this case since we want the grunge paper to give our photo that look we don't have to worry about stretching it out of shape. So go ahead and do just that. Grabbing from the corners and sides adjust that image over the top of your photo until the corners match up. It should now look something like this:
At this point you can leave it like it is or if you want it to look more vintage you will need to adjust your actual photo to a black and white image. I am going to go ahead and do that and then I will merge these 2 layers together by right clicking on the grunge layer and merging it down on top of Jen's now black and white photo. Be careful not to merge the wrong layers, you can move them up and down by dragging them in the layer panel. Then I will take my eraser tool and start erasing the white edges that are showing down to the grunge edge. Yes there are better ways to do this but this is a simple tutorial. Here is the black and white merged with the grunge and the eraser tool showing:
Looking very vintage already yes? Ok now in my case the image I chose doesn't match up with the final Polaroid image. We can't stretch the Jenn Image from the sides because it would alter her face. We can size her properly from the corner but the Polaroid will still be a bad match up so what we do is stretch our Polaroid to fit because like the grunge layer we wont really see it in the end. I am also going to take my Jenn photo layer and make it 90% transparent. Why? Because I want to be able to see some of the cracks and stains on my final image. I will then take the eraser tool and lightly erase just a few of the grunge edges so the Polaroid will show through; this will also give it the dark vintage edge. I also did a little erasing of the Grunge layer over the cracks of the Polaroid so that you can see the tear cutting through the bottom. You can do two things now; darken the edges of the inner Polaroid with a black airbrush to darken it up further for your edges or just merge your layers now and crop your photo. I did not use the airbrush on this one BTW. And here is the final product:
Pretty nifty huh? And done in less then a half hour with the tutorial but once you get good at it, it will take less then 15 minutes. Super fun. Now go forth; now that you understand the "Art of Vintage Photo Creation" go do your wedding photos! Make sure to upload them to our DIY page we would love to see what you did! Have a great time!
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