Daguerreotype Vintage Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial (+ FREE Textures!)

Daguerreotype Vintage Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial (+ FREE Textures!)

August 9, 2019 10 By Peter Engel


Hello
everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Photoshop. Today I’m going to show you how to create
a vintage photo effect, based on Daguerreotypes from the 1800s. Being the most common photography method in
the 19th century, this photo style is often associated with old portraits and scenes of
the wild west. Daguerreotypes were exposed onto polished
metal plates which were easily tarnished and scratched. This has become one of the main aesthetics
of these antique images, so we’ll be using some texture images to mimic the appearance. And to achieve the most realism, we’ll be
using the real thing! I recently found some public domain scans
of authentic Daguerreotype photographs, which I processed into design resources by Photoshopping
out the subject to leave just the texture of the tarnished metal plate. You can download the textures for free from
my Spoon Graphics website by following the link in the description area below. If you want a massive library of design resources
available for your other projects, be sure to check out Envato Elements, the ultimate
creative toolkit for designers… So create your Daguerreotype photo effect
you first need an image to work with. Absolutely any picture will work, but modern
subjects or clothing fashions probably won’t quite complement the style. Old western buildings, landscapes or portraits
tend to work well. The original Daguerreotype photos had long
exposure times of over 20 seconds, which is why they’re mostly of people rigidly sat staring
with blank expressions, and rarely of moving subjects. I’m using this stock photo of ‘a senior gentleman
wearing a western style suit and cowboy hat’ from Shutterstock. Daguerreotype plates were only sensitive to
blue light, which is why the eyes of those old portraits often look so creepy. We can replicate this in Photoshop using a
Channel Mixer adjustment layer. Choose the option from the Adjustment Layer
menu at the bottom of the Layers panel. Check the Monochrome option to make the image
black and white, then reduce the Red and Green channels to zero, and bring the Blue channel
to 100%. The key ingredient is the Daguerreotype texture,
choose a suitable vintage photo overlay from my free collection that suits the overall
composition of your image. We want plenty of stains and scratches, but
we still want the subject to be visible. Texture number 18 has some distressed areas
which would cover the background of my photo, while the darker areas wouldn’t affect the
main subject as much. Open the texture in Photoshop, then go to
Select>All, followed by Edit>Copy. Close the file to return back to the main
document, then go to Edit>Paste. Press CMD+T, or CTRL+T on Windows to Transform,
then scale the texture to fill the canvas. There’s three blending modes that tend to
work best with textures. Screen makes the dark areas transparent, leaving
just the white marks. This is a little too much distressing for
my picture. Overlay blends both the light and dark areas,
but it’s now too dark for my image. Soft Light is similar to Overlay, but isn’t
quite as heavy, which helps preserve more of the subject. You can also experiment with different orientations
of the texture. Hit CMD+T again, then right click and choose
Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical to alter where the texturing is applied. Next add a Levels adjustment layer. Drag this layer below the texture in the Layers
panel so it only affects the original photograph. Drag the Output Level slider inwards to clip
the shadows to bring back some of the image. Vintage photos never have a deep black, so
this step helps replicate this. Move the shadows and highlights sliders to
bring back some contrast to the image. The exact values are specific to your particular
photo, so just eyeball it until you have a clear picture without blowing out the highlights
too much. If you want even more texturing, you could
apply another vintage photo overlay, or my free Dust and Scratches textures also complement
the style quite well. Open a chosen texture, then use the shortcuts
CMD+A to Select All, CMD+C to Copy and CMD+V to Paste, followed by CMD+T to Transform. Set the blending mode of this layer to Screen. The texture is brightening the overall image
a little too much, so go to Image>Adjustment>Levels and drag the shadows slider inwards
to darken the blacks. Remember, any dark areas are made invisible
in the Screen blending mode, so it leaves just the white dust and scratches marks. The effect could be left black and white,
but a gradient map is a great finishing touch to add a classic sepia tone to the effect. Click the gradient bar in the Properties panel
to edit the gradient, then click the left swatch to alter the first colour. Choose a dark brown of #12100d. Edit the highlights swatch and enter a creamy
white of #f0e7ca. Adjust the opacity of the gradient map layer
to easily alter its strength. Make sure the gradient map is placed below
both the textures, so the colouring is only applied to the photograph and not the stains
and scratches. The final result is a realistic Daguerreotype
photo effect with a lovely vintage appearance. The authentic Daguerreotype texture really
helps achieve the look by applying the exact tarnished surface effects as the real thing. Combined with some channels and levels adjustments,
as well as a gradient map you can quickly transform a modern digital image into an antique
photograph from the 19th century. If you enjoyed this tutorial or learned any
new tricks be sure to subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube Channel to stick around for
more. Head over to my Spoon Graphics website to
check out my other content, and join my mailing list to get all my other free design resources. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one!