My apology for the amateur question.

What is this vintage effect and how to create in PS (steps by steps rather than action) ?

Can you point me to similar color effects ? Thanks.


My bad for being amateur. Thanks for your inputs and trying to help as much as you could. Let's say we have something like this, just taken out of a phone.

To my limited PS manipulation, I have the feelings some Levels adjustment is needed to achieve the color. Your advices and corrections are appreciated.

  • 2
    I can't see the effect. – LeoNas Mar 16 '20 at 15:06
  • Do you see the photo ? It's kind of vintage, lomo, retro color effect. If there's no name for it, how would you achieve this similar color tone ? – Kenny Mar 16 '20 at 15:21
  • 1
    I'm very sorry, I understand your frustration, but the crux of the problem here is that I don't. I see a photo that is somewhat blurry, but no other very obvious 'effects'. Could you possible find an image that has been treated with this effect and its original? That would make things infinitely clearer. Thanks a lot! – Vincent Mar 16 '20 at 15:58
  • 1
    I also don't see any effect. How is this different from a photo file taken straight out of a camera? There's nothing retro, vintage or lomo about it duckduckgo.com/?q=lomo+photography&iax=images&ia=images – Luciano Mar 16 '20 at 16:08
  • 1
    I tried to nail the original of this pic to see if it really is a pro shot or something someone slapped an instagram filter over, but it's been used so many times I can't track it down. Personally, if this is a "pro" shot, it's a poor one - eyes are not the focus point, way too many distractions in the background, bike wheel, flag, white sign on railings; juxtaposition of suit & lamp-post is awkward… then it's had a lifted blacks applied & too much saturation & generally just looks 'fuzzy'. – Tetsujin Mar 16 '20 at 18:13

That's not an effect, it's a well designed shot taken in the right light and environment. The sky probably is cloudy which prevents sharp shadows. The man is a little blurred afterwards and the environment is blurred even more to make the suit relatively sharper. The environment blur is partly made by big aperture and long focal length of the camera. That depth of field management is an essential photography skill.

The environment colors are selected carefully to be non-offensive, the suit must be the main object. Of course the model is also selected to bring the suit to max effect. I guess a tall athletic body builder wouldn't fit. All in all, the problem to present the suit is solved with an image, but 99% of the image was made when the shot was taken.

How a photographer can design a shot like this? There probably is done a remarkable amount of teamwork to catch and select ideas. The photographer has made the decisions a real image. I guess there's numerous rejected versions, too.

About the colors:

As others have already noticed there' a slight shift towards blue and the contrast is manipulated. The contrast is not increased, it's decreased. The black end is lifted a little ==> the image is't too black but it's foggy like not so high quality paper photos. The paper photo likeness can be removed by fixing the white balance and shifting the black end back to zero. It's done in the rightmost version. The original is in the left.

enter image description here

The fix starts an endless demand of other fixes. The environment for example starts to look much more messy and it sinks the suit which now should have more light and color.

If you have approximately the same material (main hues, light) you can match the colors with your image. It's Photoshop's standard adjustment. You can also match separately the face and the suit because they have different main hues.

Video editors make extreme color adjustments because the colors must be consistent between different takes which used different equipment and not so equal light. I guess it's a good idea to check what they have available.

ADD after questioner's own photo was inserted:

This cannot be transformed to same colors as the example because the man in the foreground has differently colored cloths and northern skin tone. In addition the background isn't concrete but colored items.

The blue shift, color & contrast reduction and blurriness can be added to lift the foreground person up. It's a little complex if the skin tone should be kept. But masking helps targeting. Here's one attempt https://www.dropbox.com/s/vkjl7a0xjs3ia63/maninthemarket.psd?dl=0

enter image description here

  • This. This answer is what makes the exchange awesome. Would upvote 3x if I could. Thanks @user287001 for going such length ! That's definitely resourceful to get me started, knowing that the core editing is Curves, Blur, Exposure, Sat, and Blueish mask. You rocks. – Kenny Mar 17 '20 at 15:01

There are a lot of Camera Raw presets that can emulate film photography stock in different ways, like VSCO (no affiliation), or manually, with this particular look I guess you can try a mix of the following:

  • slight blur
  • slight grain texture/noise
  • reduce contrast and luminosity
  • increase shadows
  • add a blue/purple tint

I am not going to explain how all this can be done in Photoshop, as each step is well documented online, just do some research.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.