Photoshop Photo Effect: Creating A Gritty, High-Contrast, and Desaturated Look

Photoshop Photo Effect: Creating A Gritty, High-Contrast, and Desaturated Look

August 17, 2019 42 By Peter Engel


Hey guys! Welcome back for another very exciting
tutorial here at the PhotoshopTrainingChannel.com. My name is Jesus Ramirez. You can find me
on Twitter @JRfromPTC. In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you the
highly requested technique that gives photos a trendy, gritty, high contrast and desaturated
look. I don’t, actually, know if this look has a name or not, but if you know what it
is, feel free to leave it in the comments down below. Anyway, you’ve probably seen a
similar grungy effect in movie posters and advertisements. I think Nike has used it a
lot lately, or at least, something similar. This effect is actually quite simple. All
we’ll use is two adjustment layers and one filter. One of these Adjustment Layers is
the Color Lookup Adjustment Layer, which is new in Photoshop CS6. If you have CS5 or older,
don’t worry about it, I’ll be showing you an alternative technique that should give
you very similar results. If you would like to follow along this tutorial
with the image that I’m using, you can download it for free. Look for the link down below.
If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ll recognize this image. We’ve used it in the
Halloween Effects Tutorial, where I showed you how to turn someone into a vampire, and
add digital bruises and scars. By the way, if you’re not a newsletter subscriber yet,
and you enjoy my tutorials, sign up now. It’s free. All you have to do is enter your email
address in the box on the sidebar of my website photoshoptrainingchannel.com. But anyway, let’s get started with this tutorial.
And the first thing I’m going to do is duplicate the background layer. So I’m going to press
Ctrl J, that’s Command J on the Mac, and I’m going to add a Black & White Adjustment Layer,
and that’s to Desaturate the image. By the way, some people like to use a Hue/Saturation
Adjustment Layer, and then, bring the Saturation Slider all the way to the left to Desaturate.
That works okay, but I prefer the Black & White Adjustment Layer, and I’ll show you why. If
I go into Window, History, and create a New Snapshot, so this is “Snapshot 1,” that we
just created. This is the original, and at this point, I can now delete the Hue and Saturation
Adjustment Layer. I’m going to turn on the Black & White Adjustment Layer. And at this
point, they’re pretty much the same. If I click on Snapshot 1 and Delete Layer, which
is the History state that we’re at now, you really don’t see a difference. There’s a very
subtle difference that you, probably, couldn’t see through the video. But if I start making adjustments to the Reds
and the Yellows, you can quickly see a difference, and I’m going to create a snapshot of the
Black and White adjustments I just made. So this is the Desaturated Image with the Hue/Saturation
Adjustment Layer, and this is the snapshot with the Black & White Adjustment Layer. So,
as you can see, it gives you a whole lot more flexibility. So that’s what we’re going to
use. I’m just going to close that since we won’t be using it anymore and I’m going to
bring the Opacity down. So I’m going to put this somewhere around 75%. You might want
to go lower or higher, depending on your image. Don’t try to match all the settings I give
you because they’re very specific to this image. They might work for your image, but
I would recommend playing around with the settings and seeing what works better for
your image. So, for this image, I’m going to leave my
Opacity at 75%, then I’m going to press Ctrl E, Command E on the Mac, to Merge Down, which
combines the Adjustment Layer and the Layer on to one layer, or you could also go to Layer
Merge Down. Then I’m going to duplicate this layer by pressing Ctrl J, Command J on the
Mac, and I’m going to go into Filter, Other High Pass, and this is going to give me the
High Pass Filter. The settings that you want to use here are all relative to your image.
You’re probably not going to go this high since you want to be somewhere around here,
where you can see the outline and some texture on the skin of your subject. I, also, don’t
want you to go too low, because then, you really can’t see any lines or texture. So,
you have to, sort of, find a nice medium, and, for me, it will be somewhere around 6.1,
so I’m going to press OK. Then, I’m going to go into the Layer Blending
Mode and select Overlay. And, as you can see, this already gave my image a much sharper
look. I’m going to Zoom In so you can see. So this is what it looks like now, and this
is before I added that High Pass filter. So, as you can see, it gives it a whole lot more
contrast. I’m going to Zoom Out just so we can see the entire image, and I’ll do the
before and after here so you can see as well. Then, I’m going to add a new Color Lookup
Adjustment Layer, and I’m going to select Teal OrangePlusContrast, and just bring the
Opacity down. And that, right there, is just going to automatically color my image and
give it a whole lot more character. So, once again, I’m going to Zoom In just so you can
see the difference. And, actually, I’m just going to put all these three layers that I’ve
been working with in one group. So this is before, and that’s after. Notice the dramatic change, how much better
it looked just by adding a few simple layers and one filter. Now, if you’re using an older
version of PhotoshopóPhotoshop CS5 or olderóyou’re not going to have the Color Lookup Adjustment
Layer. So what you can do, then, is use another technique, and I’ll show you what that is.
I’m just going to duplicate all the layers, including the background layer, and I’m going
to add that to my group copy, and I’m going to delete the Color Lookup Adjustment Layer.
So the group in the bottom contains the original group we’re working with, and this group on
top, I’m going to use to show you what you can use in an older version of Photoshop.
So, I’m just going to click in the top layer, and I’m going to add a Gradient Map. I’m going
to set the Gradient Map to Soft Light. I’m going to bring the Opacity down just a little
bit, maybe, to 62 or so percent. And I’m going to change the colors, and the colors that
I’m going to use is a bluish color that I predetermined, so that’s 1f3946, and for the
lighter color, I’m going to use e8cc7f and press OK. I’m going to move the swatch here
over to the right a little bit, all the way to 25%, and then press OK. Now, when I shut
off the visibility to the top group, you’ll see that it’s very similar to the one at the
bottom. It’s not an exact match, but it’s pretty close. So if you have an older version
of Photoshop, this is what you can do. And that’s it for this tutorial, guys. This
is, officially, the shortest tutorial that I’ve done, but I’ve got a lot of email requests
on how to achieve this effect. So I figure out we just throw a quick tutorial up for
you guys, and show you how to easily create this. It doesn’t take a lot of time at all.
It could really improve your images, just by simply adding a few Adjustment Layers and
one Filter. If you have any questions, please leave them down below. Also, if you create
an image using this tutorial, feel free to share it on my Facebook page, send me a Tweet,
or you can, also, send me a message on Google+. And, by the way, if you want to receive an
email notification every time I put up a new tutorial, feel free to go to my website, Photoshoptrainingchannel.com
and enter your email address on the sidebar to join my free newsletter. And I hope you
learned something new. Once again, thank you for watching, and I’ll talk to you guys again
next time.