Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Achieving the Toy Camera look (2 of 2)

Last week I showed one method for achieving that 'toy camera' look, and I promised to show another method. Chris Spooner has also featured a third method, so you've got plenty of options!

Open your image in Photoshop. I'm using one of my own images of the Grainger Market in Newcastle.

Add a Curves adjustment layer. Choose ‘Red’ from the dropdown channel menu and edit the curve to match the one in the picture.

Also choose ‘Green’ and ‘Blue’ and edit the lefthand half of the curve by dragging downwards to make the image look very red.

With the adjustment layer active, add a layer mask. Click on the Gradient Tool. Draw a Black-White gradient across the image so that the red portion remains on the left.

Add another Curves adjustment layer and click on the ‘Blue’ dropdown channel. Drag the left half upwards to turn the image blue. Add a layer mask and add a gradient going in the opposite direction.

Now, a lot of these toy camera images have vignettes. So draw an ellipse with a feather of around 200px - invert the selection and, on a new layer, fill it with black. Set the blending mode to 'multiply' and lower the opacity. I like my vignettes to be extra strong at the edges so I painted along each edge of the image with a soft-edged black brush on a new layer, which I set to 'soft light'.

And there you have it!

Which method do you prefer?