Giving your Photograph an Antique Look

This simple tutorial is an alternative method (from many others available on the Internet) for making a photograph look aged. Suitable for Photoshop beginners.

Let us start off with a normal full-color photograph. I am using the "Young Teenage Girl" from ShutterStock.

Select the photo layer, go to Filter > Noise > Dust and Scratches. Set the Radius to 2 and Threshold 0.

Duplicate the photo layer. Select duplicated photo layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set Radius to 4.

Make a Layer Mask on the duplicated layer. On the mask, create a Radial Gradient as shown in the screenshot below.

Download "Vintage Background" from ShutterStock. Resize it to cover the photograph nicely. Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Set the Blend Mode of vintage background to Soft Light.

Download "Grunge Background" from ShutterStock. Resize it to cover the photograph nicely. Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Set the Blend Mode of grunge background to Multiply. Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness and Contrast. Set the Brightness to 50.

Create a Levels Adjustment Layer. Set the values to 15, 1.48, 255.

Create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Check on Colorize. Set the Hue to 38, Saturation to 22 and Lightness to 0. And that is all! I have you find this tutorial useful for your future works. Cheers.

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51 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Mahsa says:

    Thank you very much, a very helpful tutorial, I used to edit photo of my mom and aunty πŸ˜€

  2. Raven says:

    I love this! I’ve used it several times since finding it yesterday πŸ˜€

  3. Nazmul Zico says:

    Definitely a unique process to cherish some thing new

  4. Gina says:

    Hey! This is great! I think if I was brand new to Photoshop I would have had no sweet clue what you were talking about…more visuals of the actual buttons and not the photo would be helpful I think.

    I was skeptical, but I downloaded the backgrounds (too bad they weren’t already part of the software) and the key is to play with the opacity of the background layers (~50% is good) and then click on the original image, right-click and select “merge down” or “flatten image”.

    Thanks! Great effect!


  5. Emily Williams says:

    Thank you for the detailed tutorial. Here are some more good ways how to manipulate with photos:

  6. vinz3nt says:

    one of the best vintage tutorials I’ve seen so far. Thanks.

  7. Onigiri says:

    Wheres the hell is the damn radial gradient? Can you show it in little easier details? I’m stuck on that and I have to skip this step because of that. I really hate these so called tutorials instead of explaining in simple steps they think everybody is an expert on photoshop. Have a little consideration!

  8. Nicee Effect. Thanks..

  9. Johnson, you are my first Twitter because I wanted to tell you how beautiful your Forest Magical Queen is (from another tutorial.) Your antiquing tutorial is right on…I have an 88 year old negative taken of my mother to prove it! I was about to clean it up digitally when you made me see how beautiful the real aging of the image is. I appreciate your talent and free tutorial!

  10. Aaron says:

    pretty much useless tutorial when it requres photos from a website that you have subscribe to, which isnt cheap πŸ™

    • Johnson Koh says:

      Hi Aaron, its the technique that you should look into instead of copying exactly the same. The equivalent result can also be achieved with free images from πŸ™‚

  11. Iuri says:


  12. ALI ASIF says:

    grat work………….

  13. Miodrag says:

    There`s no need to use same vintages like they did, feel free to be a little more creative. πŸ˜‰
    @randy Dude, click on the duplicated layer and there is several ways to create a mask. Down you have a mask icon, just click on it (circle into square icon, its a easiest way. Cheers

  14. kelly says:

    how I can download theβ€˜vintage background’????

  15. alin says:

    i like it.. great job

  16. Al says:

    Very bland, and the result looks terribly fake.

  17. Yondra says:

    I like this…
    share more please…

  18. artrayd says:

    Original photo was better IMHO xD) But tutorial is usefull

  19. Terra says:

    Thanks SO much!!! Keep the coming!

  20. Patrick says:

    You fuqing rock!! Thanks for sharing these experiences with us and helping us learn!!

  21. aya kamel says:

    nice effect,,but i cant get the lst step,,i cant get the sepia color

    • aya kamel says:

      i get it

    • Miodrag says:

      Look, it`s very simple. You can do the same thing on several ways – like they did:
      Click on “new adjustment layer”, choose hue/saturation, in the corner you have checkbox [colorize] – turn it on (check it). Play with saturation and hue to find a wright colour.
      Or, second way is:
      Because it is a last step in this case go to:
      layers>flatten image
      then go to:
      Image>adjustments>hue/saturation and do the same thing like i wrote earlier. Just keep practicing.

    • Miodrag says:

      NP, if i can help somehow, just say πŸ™‚ i dont know why, but this is my favorite forum πŸ™‚

    • Johnson Koh says:

      Thanks Miodrag. It’s great to have you around too πŸ™‚

    • Miodrag says:

      You wlcome. Really fantastic site, all work pretty friendly and i love it. πŸ™‚ I`m a photographer, and PS is my everyday tool, so if i can help anyhow, i`ll be glad.

  22. Anitha says:

    I liked your post would like to update with my black and white photos

  23. randy derykk says:

    i can’t get the 4th step. that one about the layer mask, i’m having problems creating the gradient fill

  24. randy derykk says:

    johnson, i tried to look you up on facebook, but couldn’t find you

  25. justpassinthru says:

    dude– there’s over 2000 ‘vintage background’ items at shutterstock. A link would be much better, lol.

  26. peter says:

    easy and effective sir

  27. yeele says:

    Thank Johnson for the great step by step guide on how to make a new photo looks old.


  28. bellering says:

    Great tuts – i love it! Keep it coming. Thanks πŸ™‚

  29. azizuan says:

    love it..thanks for the tuts

  30. Childmonster says:

    Nice effect πŸ™‚

  31. Paromita says:

    Very innovative.Liked it.

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