Antique a Photo Using Textures in 3 Quick Steps

Antique a Photo Using Textures in 3 Quick Steps

Nothing tells a story like an old photo. You can find sometimes find them by the box fulls at antique shops and thrift stores. Not only are they fun to look at, there also fun and easy to create in Photoshop with a couple of adjustment layers and a good grunge texture. Lets take a look how.

Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating.

I found this perfect image of a small town store front by Jo Naylor on flickr.

Step 1 – Adding a Border

One characteristic that most all vintage photographs seem to have is a border around the image. To create that, we need to increase the canvas size by 60 pixels to give the image a 30 pixel border on all sides. Click (Image | Canvas Size ) and increase the height and width amounts by 60 pixels.

Now, fill a new layer, placed below the image layer, with a solid color. I used #f2eadf. Lets also apply an Inner Glow layer style to this background border layer.

You should now have a border that looks similar to mine.

Step 2 – Adjustment Layers

Next, we’ll modify the color and exposure of the image using adjustment layers.

Add a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer by clicking the new adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

Make sure the newly created adjustment layer is above the image and apply the following settings.

Your image should look similar to mine. It’s already looking pretty antiqued.

Now lets add an Exposure adjustment layer, and apply this following settings.

It’s a little too dark in the middle. To fix that, let’s use a large soft black brush to paint on the center of the exposure layer’s layer mask.

I like it… This looks old and antiqued. But lets take it a step further and give it some where and tear that would have occurred over time through years of handling.

Step 3 – Applying Textures

After searching for the perfect texture, I found this great stained paper image from our friend Caleb Kimbrough on Flickr.

Copy and paste this texture onto a layer above all others in our composition. Set the layer’s blend mode to overlay, and set the opacity to 50%.

Fill a new layer, above all others, with white. Then select (Filter | Noise | Add Noise ) enter an amount somewhere around 150%, and click Ok. Set this layer’s blend mode to Color Dodge, and the opacity to 10%. This gives the image a touch of film grain.

I like how this looks, very antique and vintage. But I’d like to take it a step further, and make it appear a bit more worn. As an optional step, lets apply a screen overlay. To do this I used a texture, (No 7) to be exact, from the Noise Effect Textures Vol 3, here at WeGraphics.

Copy and paste this texture to a layer above all others and set the layer’s blend mode to Screen, and the opacity to 75%.

There you have it! An antiqued photograph in 3 quick and easy steps. I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial interesting and useful, and have picked up a few new techniques!

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.


(+add yours)
  1. Wow – this was a really neat tutorial. I never thought about creating this type of look (at least not in this way). You really broke the process down and gave me a few tips that I’ll be using not only in Photoshop but in Post Production (AfterEffects) as well. Thanks for the post!

  2. Love the final product – looks awesome! :D And great tutorial, too :)

  3. Great tutorial ! Thanks you ;)

  4. Ali

    greeeeeeeat ………….

  5. I’m a real big fan of antique photos and this is a great way to reproduce that effect. I especially love it when the subject matter is clearly “modern”. Thanks!

  6. wow.. cool..i love it so much… :)

  7. Great Tutorial :) love it

  8. very good….thanks

  9. very very very good ….

  10. Thanks for the great post! I was using Yiigo imaging to add antique effect, but don’t really have much control over it…Your illustration seems to be a great option!

  11. Awesome post! Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks!

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  14. Zayed

    thank u very much Nathan .. today i learnt much more tech techniques

  15. FelyGF

    Great tutorial, thank you so much!

  16. Antonio

    Estupendo Sr., un ejercicio más, que quedaré archivado, Agradecido, Saludos

  17. Thank you very much for great tutorial.

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