Last Updated on 05/12/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
Here’s how you can give your photos a look that’s all the rage today
There are many ways to describe it, but the faded film look, as it’s commonly known, remains one of today’s most popular visual styles. We typically see it in many fashion and portrait snaps on Instagram, but slapping on those app filters isn’t the only way to get the look. Allow us to share a couple of tricks you can use to add a hazy, vintage effect to your portraits.
Actually, if this vintage film look is something you plan to do constantly, you might also want to consider getting your hands on a vintage lens for your camera’s mount. It could very well create a more faithful and consistent look to your photos. But if you’d rather just do it in post-process, we found a quick tip from Justin Odisho for you to try out.
So, with just one simple adjustment, you can jazz up any of your photos into a retro-inspired masterpiece. By adding a Curves Adjustment layer over your image, you can quickly change how it looks – from the shadows that mainly create the faded look, to the color adjustments that complete this Instagram-worthy style. You can make the adjustments as noticeable or subtle as you like, but the key, as Justin said, is not to go overboard with your edits.
Other tricks shared on this Reddit thread include “in-camera” methods, like using a variety of filters, putting nude stockings behind the lens, and smearing vaseline on the lens’ front element (maybe no to that one, though).
The filters would be a pretty obvious route, but stockings? I needed to look around for anything that could show me how it works. The search led to this in-depth test by cinematographer Colton Davie, who actually shoots through pantyhose to create a diffused, soft look for his films. The test involved several items:
- Big Tulle
- Small Tulle (smaller weave)
- AUS = Hanes Absolutely Ultra Sheer black pantyhose
- CK7 = Calvin Klein 7-denier pantyhose, charcoal color
- DK7 = Donna Karan The Nudes, 7-denier black pantyhose
- DK10 = Donna Karan 10-denier black pantyhose
And here’s the test showing the effect each of the items create when placed in front or behind the lens:
So, there you have it, hazy vintage effect done two ways!
Screenshot image from the video by Justin Odisho