Dark, Gritty Photo Effect

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In this nice and easy Photoshop tutorial I’m going to be teaching you how to add a very simple, dark & gritty-style effect to a photo, in this case a photo of the beautiful Evangeline Lilly!

1.

First of all open up a photo, I’ll be using a photo of Evangeline Lilly:

Duplicate the main layer (Background) and apply Filter > Brush Strokes > Dark Strokes with these settings:

Set the layer mode to Overlay and the opacity to 70%, duplicate the layer and change the layer mode to Color Dodge and the opacity to 40%.

2.

Duplicate the Background layer again and move it to the top of the layers pallete:

Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussion Blur with a radius of 3, now set the layer mode to Color Burn and the opacity to 40%.

Duplicate the background layer again and move it to the top of the layeres pallete again.

Hit CTRL + U and use the following settings:

Set the layer mode to Overlay and the opacity to 50%.

3.

Create a Brightness/Contrast layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and use these settings:

Create a new layer and Apply the image (Image > Apply Image)

Apply Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen then duplicate the layer. Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussion Blur with a radius of 3 to the duplicate layer.

Set the layer mode to Lighten and the opacity to 50%, duplicate this blurred layer and change the mode to Overlay and the opacity to 40%.

Don’t forget to try different filters and layer modes! :)

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9 Responses

  1. I take it you like Lost. :)

    I love the site.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Bold Step Design for the comment, yeah Lost is one of my fav shows ;)

  3. kd says:

    this is HOT!

  4. nicole says:

    nice tut! luv it!

  5. empty says:

    i got LOST with all those filters and layer modes , hehehe. But I’m gonna repeat this on other pics because it’s a cool effect. Thx.

  6. Radek says:

    Hi dude

    Theres no point in desaturating a photo, then changing the hue and blending it using overlay. Overlay blending mode only works based on lightness. What you’ve done there is basically darkened/brightened the photo in the result, because overlay multiplies everything below 50% and screens everything above 50% lightness. and then brightened and lowered the contrast.
    Couldn’t u just do the same thing with curves and lowering contrast?

    But cool effect in the end. Didnt know all those gritty photos used so much color dodge and expanding. obvious I suppose. Thanks.

  7. Radek says:

    Ummm. actually I was wrong. seems like overlay does operate on color. apologies.

  8. Gard says:

    love our tutorialls:D:D
    <33

  9. bala says:

    really ilove this sitelot…. i learnt lot… thanks for the developer