Making New look Old

Old look for a new photo

One thing I do quite a bit of is retouching old, often scanned in images to see if there is any more detail, or just to make them look sharper. I then got the idea of doing the opposite, making new look old. I wanted to do more than simply add a sepia tone or vintage colour overlay. I wanted to create scratch marks and ruined borders.

I started by using Google to search for tips and advice, and found that there are so many different ways to do this aging thing, that it was all rather confusing. However they all followed one basic theme which was to have a pre-made texture, often of a scanned in image of scrunched up paper. I wasn’t satisfied with that but I did experiment with it, and I have an earlier blog post where I did just that. Artificial Aging

While I did use a paper texture to help get things along in the image above, the scratches and border are all drawn effects using various brushes and layer effects in Photoshop. There are three key layers;

  1. The Texture layer where I have also adjusted Light Levels and brightness to exaggerate and darken the speckling.
  2. A border layer which was created using a combination of soft and rough brushes. It also provides a faint background to the lighter scratch marks.
  3. A Scratch Marks layer which maps out some rough brush marks with a blurring effect. It is white marks against a black background so the layer is set to a lightening blending mode.

This is then all capped off with a further two adjustment layers for the Black and White, and Colour Toning. Below is the original photo for comparison.

Before the After

Addendum: I really mucked that one up. Thanks goes to my wife for proof-reading this previously poorly written post.


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