I found this example photos in Noel Shiveley 's Instagram

I wonder, how he applied this technique? What is the white noise called? Dust? Old Paper? Where I can find or create it?

And how to apply to photo? I mean which blend option? Softlight? Mutiply? Screen?

By the way, what is this font name or style? hand drawing?

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3 Answers 3


In the images of the example, not only is the texture added but also adjustments in the background photos with some filters.

Original image from unsplash.com

Original image

Filters: Fragment, Gaussian Blur, Opacity 60% (over a white background):


Texture: Dag Texture from wikimedia.com

enter image description here

To the texture:

  • If it's a color texture Menu Image → Adjustments → Desaturate
  • Auto Levels
  • Blend mode Screen, opacity 50%
  • Reduce the shadows using the Levels Panel



There are a lot of ways to get this look. Instagram uses a predifined filter, but you can also do it "manually" in photoshop. Try for example: ->Filters -> Noise -> Dust and Scratches and you can play with the settings.

For more of an in-depth analysis of what Instagram does, here is a description and some tutorials for various retro effects.


If you look at the "lint" you will see that it is the exact same texture in every photo.

The most common way to get this overlay to happen is to create a mask which is used to allow color in some areas and block out color in other areas. In the real world one might use a stencil and masking tape. In the digital world, it is achieved by using a special layer mask which contains a greyscale image (aka a black and white image).

While there are dust and scratch filters for this sort of thing, if you were sweep some dirt off the floor, sprinkle it onto a white piece of paper, then place the paper in direct sunlight and snap a close-up photo of it, you would have the basis for making a mask.

You would convert the color to greyscale, play with brightness and contrast, and paste it into the layer mask channel for a white layer.

The image would be on a layer below this.

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