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A Vintage Look in Photoshop Elements

by Erin Peloquin on March 29, 2011 · 8 comments

Photoshop Elements made short work of getting the vintage look I wanted from this photo.

One of our models brought a 1940s or 1950s outfit that worked perfectly in the old farmhouse we were shooting in this past weekend.  This photo takes me back to pre-air conditioning days and I wanted the processing to carry on that theme.

I started by using the awesome content-aware spot healing brush tool in Elements 9 to remove the piece of the chair on the left side of the image.  Unfortunately, this tool isn’t available in versions of Elements prior to 9, but you could get the same results with the clone tool – it would just take a bit longer.  To use the spot healing brush, by the way, I created a new blank layer above the background layer.  Turned on the “Sample All Layers” box and removed the chair.  After making the edits non-destructively, I flattened the image.

Next, I ran Color Fusion Mix and Match from MCP’s Fusion.  No changes were necessary to the default Fusion/One Click Color layers.  I turned on the following layers, all at default opacities:

  • Desire
  • Retro Surprise
  • Passion

I chose those layers by experimenting with all the possibilities until I found the vintage look I was imagining.

Here is a before and after – you can click on it to view a larger size.

Fusion’s base One-Click workflow is fabulous.  Although it’s completely adjustable, I find that I don’t often need to make any changes to its defaults.  The contrast, brightening, color pop – everything – work on so many photos.  This photo definitely needed a good defog/crisping, plus some color and contrast.  And adding the treatments on top gave me just the look I was going for.  And Fusion creates many looks in addition to vintage too.

Who says Photoshop Elements can’t do everything it’s big brother can?


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