How to Create a Retro Desaturation Photo Effect in Photoshop CS6

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In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a retro desaturation photo effect in Photoshop CS6.


Final Image

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect

Tutorial Details

  • Program : Photoshop CS6 +
  • Estimated Completion Time : 15 minutes
  • Difficulty : Beginner

Resources


Step 1

The first step is to open model.jpg up in Photoshop. Nearly all of our work will be done with Adjustment Layers so we should go ahead and open that panel up, too.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 1

You can find the Adjustment Layers Panel by going to Window > Adjustments.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 2

Step 2

Next, we are going to add a Brightness/Contrast Adjustments Layer. Set the Brightness to “-18″ and the Contrast to “82”. This will lighten up the shadows and make the image more vivid and even-toned overall.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 3

If you’re using an different image, try playing around with the levels to achieve a similar effect as the image below.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 4

Basically, try to get your bright colors very bright.


Step 3

Add a Channel Mixer Adjustments Layer, keeping the Preset and Output to the default settings. Bump the Blue channel to +2. Leave the Red and Green settings as they are.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 5

Step 4

Create a new layer and call it “gradient”. Click the keystroke G and choose a radial gradient.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 6

Set the Layer Overlay to “Vivid Light” and the Opacity to 83%.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 6

The end result should look like this:

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 7

Step 5

Go to Lost and Taken and download seamless paper texture. (Special thanks to Caleb Kimbrough and all his beautiful textures that he offers to the design community for free!)

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 8

Step 6

Place texture over image.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 8

Step 7

Go to Edit > Transform > Scale and drag the paper texture to cover the entire image. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to make sure that the image keeps the correct ratio.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 9

Step 8

Set the Layer Mode to “Soft Light” and the Opacity to 30%.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 10

The image should now look like this:

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 11

Step 9

The ninth and final step is to rename the layer to “paper-texture” and drag below the gradient layer.

How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 12

And We’re Done!

I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial. Below are several different images with this Retro Desaturation effect applied.

How to Create a Retro Desaturation Photo Effect
How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 13
How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 14
How to Create a Retro Desauration Photo Effect 15

Source files

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