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Follow this tutorial to see how I recreate the popular lomo style photography effect on a rather dull and dark photo. Photos taken with modern digital cameras lack the processing faults that older cheaper cameras would encounter when processing rolls of film. In this tutorial I will recreate some of the imperfections to create a cool lomo style photo.

Finished Product

Original Photo

Color Adjustments

I first would like to adjust the colors in the photo, they look dull and dark. In Photoshop, select Image -> Adjustments -> Curves.

Select the Channel setting to ‘Blue’ withing the Curves settings, I adjusted the input and output until I was happy with the colors.

How To Create The Vignette

Using the Elliptical Marquee tool in Photoshop, draw out an oval shape selection, I set the feather to 50px and draw the oval to cover a majority of the photo.

Choose Select -> Inverse. With the oval and image still selected, select Image -> Adjustments levels.

This will create a masked layer, allowing you to add a vignette effect around the edges of the oval shape. You can adjust how subtle or how intense you  want the effect using the sliders, sliding right will make a lighter subtle effect and sliding left will create a harsh dark shade around the photo.

Additional Effects

I will duplicate the original image layer and add a blur to it. Select the layer and choose Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur. Set the blur radius to 8.0.

Place the layer with the blur effect above all other images so the blur is on top and visible, select the Elliptical Marquee tool and cut out an area roughly similar to the Vignette, set the opacity of the layer to 60%, this will result in subtle blurred edges.

To complete the image, I again duplicated the first image layer, with this I then wanted to add some subtle noise. Select the layer and choose Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise. Set the noise level to 60% and set the layer opacity to 20%. The will add a subtle amount of distortion to the image.

End Result

(View Large)

Lomo Inspiration

If you have never explored lomography, here is a few great examples of lomo photography:

Cattlefarm

Warning

Converse

Planet Sunset

Cosmos

Mt Kilimanjaro

Chuck’s Bar

Posted by David Martin

David Martin is a WordPress developer & entrepreneur from the UK. He owns DesignWoop, CardDsgn and WhoDesignToday. Catch up with David on Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. Very simple yet useful. I think you also need a good image so it’ll complement the lomo effect.

  2. Different approach to do the vignette: Create a new layer above the image, fill it with black, and erase the middle part with a suuuuupersoft brush. Lower the opacitiy to 10ish % – done :-)

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