Photoshop Tutorial – Simple Textures Making a Vintage Photo

I’ve been wanting to take some of my photos that I’ve photoshoped for effects purposes and detail for you the steps involved with screen shots. I’m a professional software trainer. This shouldn’t be hard.

The starting point for our vintage photo

But it is. A lot of the steps in getting from the RAW photo to Finished art involves a lot of experimentation. Given a history tool in Photoshop and the ability to capture screen shots you would think it would be easy, but it is near impossible to do. I applaud those who have done Photoshop tutorials online.

I don’t like to be denied, so here we go with a simple tutorial using a texture layer to make a vintage photo.

The first thing to do is to find the photo you want to work with and get it loaded into Photoshop*.  I started with this photo of a goose.
Next  you need are some textures. If your not doing this for commercial purposes, I highly recommend using “Textures for Layers”.  Its a Flickr group that provides a great stock of textures just for this purpose.  The texture in use is  ©Jerry Jones

For some effects you will use multiple textures.  The basic principle is that you will use your photo as a base layer and add a texture layer on top.  Then using various layer compositing techniques you can vary the opacity and blend modes to get just the effects you want.  So follow these simple instructions.

Step 1.  Load your photo.

Step 2. Load your texture.

Step 3. Using the Move tool,  “Drag and Drop” your texture onto your photo.  Your texture will likely not be the  same size or shape as your photo.  I find the “Quick Transform Tool” an easy fix.  Drag the texture layer to the top-left corner of your image, then use CTRL-T (or Apple-T) to enable “Quick Transform”.  Then drag the bottom right handle to the bottom right of your photo.  The texture will resize to fit your base image.  Click the Check mark at the top to accept the changes.

Step 4.  On the layers pallet, select a blend mode using the unlabeled drop down that defaults to “Normal”.  You need to try different blend modes to see the different effects.  For this one, I chose “Overlay”.  Multiply and Screen are other good ones to try as well.  You might want to also adjust the Opacity of the texture layer for different intensities.

At this point you should have a pretty good idea what your photo will look like.  You might need to use the eraser tool to erase holes in the texture if some of the texture is placed poorly, like right on the subjects face.

Step 5.  Since I am making a vintage photo and I have a texture that works well for that.  The overly saturated, colorful goose is out of place.  So I quickly made it B&W by first using the “Move (arrow)” tool and clicking on the “Background” layer in the layer palette then bringing up the Hue-Saturation-Lightness tool (CTRL-U/Apple-U) and slid the Saturation slider all the way to the right (-100%) to desaturate the base image.

Step 6.  Save your work.  I like to keep my original with layers as a Photoshop PSD file.  This is a lossless format that preserves all the detail and all the layers, masks, channels, etc.  Then I resize it for web viewing and Save As a JPEG.   I generally do not “Save for Web or Devices” for photos since others like looking at the EXIF data and if I embedd caption information, services like Flickr will take advantage of that.  “Save for Web or Devices” strips all that to keep the image small.  Now if I were building a web site, all the icons and bling would be stripped down for performance.

And your final results:

So go forth an play.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

* You don’t need Photoshop to create these types of photos.  The GIMP, Photoshop Elements, Corel Paint Shop Pro and other tools should be able to perform these steps.

One thought on “Photoshop Tutorial – Simple Textures Making a Vintage Photo”

  1. Dear Rob —

    I have been wondering how to do this for the longest time ever! I never even knew about the textures as layers group in flickr. I am so VERY excited to have learned a new skill!!!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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