Create a Trendy Retro Photo Effect in 3 Easy Steps

Retro photo effects are all the rage! There’s plenty of apps to give your photos the vintage look on your iPhone, but what about your desktop images? Follow this super quick Photoshop tutorial to easily add a retro effect to your images in 3 simple steps, or just skip to the end and download the Action.

We’re going to use Photoshop’s Curves adjusted to modify the image’s colors. You can either do this by going to Image > Adjustments > Curves or by adding an Adjustment Layer. An Adjustment Layer is the better choice seeing as it’s non-destructive, allowing you to remove the effect at any time.


Step one: Change the drop down menu in the Curves options to the Red option, then click and drag the line and create a positive bend. This will increase the reds in the overall color balance.


Step two: Switch the drop down menu to the Blue option. Drag this line to create a negative bend. This will decrease the amount of blue in the color balance, giving the image more of a yellow tone.


Step three: Change the drop down menu to the Green option and add two points in this line to create an S-shaped bend. This helps make the reds in the shadows more prominent while bringing out those yellows in the highlights.


Fine tune the amount of adjustment on those curves lines to create the perfect retro effect.


Apply this simple process to any image to instantly give it that retro look.


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Create explosive action photos at home


Use some flour power
Shooting a moving subject like a dancer throws up several challenges, not least of which is trying to convey that sense of graceful motion in a still image. But something as simple as a handful or flour can show off the action in a wonderfully atmospheric way.

The fine white powder hangs in the air, shifting with the action and creating dusty whorls that catch the light. It also makes an almighty mess, but that’s certainly a price worth paying for the extra flavor the flour gives the shoot.

In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to get set up and shoot your own evocative flour portraits. Lighting plays a big part, and a three Speedlight set-up here gives us beautiful backlighting that emphasizes the shape of the body and lifts the flour. What’s more, you don’t even need a studio. Any decent-sized space will do – you could even shoot it outdoors on a dry night.

Step-by-step: just add flour
1. Find a dark place

We need a dim environment and a dark backdrop, so we shot in a private underground car park. Arrange dust sheets to minimize the mess, but be aware their color might affect the light; here the reflected light from the blue material gave us an intentionally cool cast.

2. Light the subject

Our Speedlights are positioned on light stands, angled away from the backdrop to prevent the spill, and set to manual power with the settings shown. The front light is fitted with a white shoot-through umbrella, the back left has a silver umbrella and the back right a beauty dish.

3. Set the exposure

We fire the Speedlights using a wireless trigger fitted to the camera and a receiver on one of the flashguns; the others are set to optical Slave mode. The camera’s set to manual with a shutter speed of 1/200 sec, then we adjust aperture and ISO until the exposure looks right.

4. Sprinkle the flour

We asked our model P-J to hold flour in his hands then release it as he danced and moved. To show the movement in different parts of the body try sprinkling flour over the shoulders, arms, and feet. If your subject has long hair, you could try sprinkling it there too.

5. Work the poses

It really helps if you can work with a subject who knows how to move their body. If you can trust them to get into interesting positions, it frees you to concentrate on perfecting the technique, timing, and composition. Even so, it might take several attempts to nail the pose.

6. Direct your subject

Strong back- and side-lighting give us these bright highlights along both sides of the body. We need to pose the subject to make the most of this edge light, asking them to turn the head and body one way or the other as they move. A straight-on pose wouldn’t work here.

Freeze with flash

It’s not so much the shutter speed that freezes the motion here, it’s the flash duration. That’s because we’re in a dim room, so the only light that registers is the brief burst from the Speedlight, which is far quicker than the camera’s maximum flash sync speed (usually 1/200 or 1/250 sec). The lower the Speedlight power, the faster the flash duration.

When fired at full power the duration may even be close to 1/200 sec, but at 1/16 power the duration will shrink to around 1/8000 sec or faster (depending on your Speedlight).

So if you’re seeing motion blur in your flash-lit action shots lower the flash power and bump up the ISO.

Top tip

You don’t need expensive flashes for this, they only need to have manual power and an optical slave mode – features that budget models will usually have.

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How to use Photoshop plugins in GIMP



Open source photo editor GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the best free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It offers one-click tools and filters to give your pictures an instant boost, as well as advanced settings that give you full manual control over levels, curves, saturation, and much more.

GIMP also comes with a superb set of user-created extensions, but you can make it even more powerful by installing plugins originally designed for Adobe Photoshop.

There are several Photoshop plugin formats, including 8BF, 8BA, 8BI, and 8LY, all of which should work fine in GIMP. Photoshop Actions (ATN files), however, are essentially macros that perform a series of operations automatically and therefore aren’t compatible.
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Enhance your photos with text

1. Open a photo
Go to File > Open. In the next dialog, browse to a photo to use for this project, or use the one you downloaded from us (“add-text-photo.jpg”). Click Open.
2. Create a line of text
Go to the tools panel and select the Horizontal Type tool. Click your image where you would like to insert text and type a phrase. When you’re done, press Escape exiting the text field. Notice that a new layer with your text has appeared in the Layers panel.
3. Style text
See the type options at the top of the Photoshop workspace. Customize the text using the type options, which include font selection, type size, alignment, and color.
4. Edit text
To change the text, be sure that you have selected the Type tool. Hover over the text with your cursor and click once. Edit the text. Press Escape to finish.
5. Move text
If you decide that you want to move the text, select the Move tool from the tools panel. Click and drag the text to move it.
6. Experiment
Use this technique to create postcards, website headers, invitations, and more. Experiment with different photography, type styles, and color combinations to create unique compositions. When you’re finished Save your document by going to File > Save.

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Transform your photos into masterpieces with special effects and eye-catching backgrounds

Sometimes, you like a photo just fine, but as luck would have it, the image has a bland or boring background that detracts from your perfect shot. You can also get tired of an old photo and start looking for a way to give it a refreshing and interesting new vibe. offers a great number of dreamlike, exotic, and romantic backgrounds that can gently suggest the mood of an image or emphasize it, turning your photo into an absolutely different picture.
Shining bokeh bubbles
The bokeh effect has earned universal appeal. Gracing so many photos, it’s sure to suit many of your own favorite shots. currently offers three types of bokeh effects: conventional “Light Bokeh,” holiday “Christmas Bokeh,” or romantic “Heart Bokeh.”
Light vignette and bokeh effect for your photos Christmas bokeh background to make charming holiday cardsMake a lovely photo with romantic heart bokeh overlay
add-bokeh christmas-bokeh-overlay

Seasonal Effects: Summer
These four great background themes focus on all the best that summer has to offer: ocean waves, bright sunshine, and the vivid colors of this amazing season. Add them to your vacation photos to emphasize the relaxing and carefree moods of your summer days.

Seasonal Effects: Winter
Surround your winter photos with magical snowflakes and glittering ice. You can’t go wrong if you apply these backgrounds to your winter photos. Make your personalized photo greeting cards unique and memorable with these effects. Share them with friends and relatives on Christmas and New Year’s—these photo greetings are sure to be treasured all year long!

winter-photo-background snow-flakes-background

Seasonal Effects: Spring and Autumn
Adorn your photos with blooming spring flowers or colorful autumn leaves to make them even more eye-catching.
spring-photo-background autumn-leaves-background

Premium Effects for Experienced Users
If you want your photos to really stand out, you’ll want to consider these elite photo backgrounds. Premium effects are available in a very limited number of copies in Photo Lab PRO and PRO-HD apps for iOS only. At $20 per template, these amazing effects will turn your photos into professional images that look exclusive and chic.

Great Cities of the World
Would you like to have a teleporter in your pocket? We can install one on your mobile device! The professional version of the Lab app is available for iOS and Android. With these amazing backgrounds, you can move the scene in your photos to three famous cities of the world: Moscow, Paris, and two different streets of Venice.
venice-background moscow-photo-frame

                                         Old Street and Moscow Attractions

paris-background italy-background.jpg
                        Paris Photo Background and Old Cityscape Background

Unusual Backgrounds for Special Occasions
If you’re looking for a creative background to emphasize the mood of your shot or to add an artistic touch to it, check out these photo effects. Every daring photographer will want to try the dangerous “Fire Flames” and “Snake Skin” backgrounds.
fire-overlay snake-skin-background

The “Industrial” photo background was created for those who like urban stylistics in design.
And last but not least, the joyous “Festive Balloons” background is perfect for any special event or occasion, from birthday parties to graduations and weddings.
birthday-photo-backgroundYou can try the effects photo in here:

7 Famous Photography Effects You Can Easily Recreate. Part 2

Now we are going to talk about no less marvelous effects has to offer: Sepia effect, Dave Hill, and Color Isolation effects. Even a good taken photo can benefit from adding some creative effects.

  • Convert a photograph into a sepia-tone image to make it look sweet and retro-ish.
  • Learn how to make your photos special with the help of the creative Dave Hill effect.
  • Experiment with color isolation effects to emphasize on a certain object in a photo.
    In the old times, sepia was a technique normally used to preserve black and white photos from fading out. Most probably the photos of your great-grandparents are in soft brownish shades of sepia. The first color film was produced in 1935, so black-and-white and sepia were virtually the only choices for photographers of these times. Sepia gave human skin the warm shade it naturally had and made every photo look a bit romantic and retroish. Photographers and their models alike still appreciate sepia-toned photographs because of their warm and intimate feel.

Sepia effect
It’s possible to create a sepia-toned picture without postprocessing it in a photo editor. The classic way to do this is to take photos with a traditional camera and to add sepia toner when you develop a photo. But it can be risky, as the process involves using toxic chemicals. Another way is to attach a sepia filter to your camera lens. But the best and fastest way is to apply this effect is to go to website or getting the ‘Photo Lab’ app. And here are the steps on how to do it:
1. Choose one of the many sepia-inspired filters: Bronze Sepia or Retro Sepia, Vintage Sepia, Dramatic Bronze, Dramatic Retro or Dreamy Retro.
2. Upload your photo. Our smart algorithms will take care of the rest!
See how the processed picture looks warm and fade-out. This cat can’t but win the hearts of all photography lovers.


Dave Hill
Guess what? Yes, this effect was invented by Dave Hill, a Los Angeles photographer. Dave is famous for adding a pinch of magic to each image. People in his photos look radiant and real, you can almost catch them breezing and winking at you. Somehow they’re even a bit too genuine, too sharp and too vivid to be real.
The techniques used by Dave to achieve this are kept secret. Obviously, the first step is to take a dramatic photo. Dave usually uses at least eight light sources for his pictures to make everything in the picture come out. When the perfect shot is taken, the magic begins. Post-processing a single photo can take up to several days, but no one knows what exactly Dave does during this time. Photographers who try to discover the secret of Dave Hill suggest using the same methods you would use to create an HDR image, applying the unsharp mask filter, and playing with colors and light.
But you can make it simply by using the magic of
1. Open the Dave Hill effect’s page and choose your picture. To make the result look appealing, pick a catchy photo. We’ve got a shot of a rock climber. You could try using photos of other sports, interesting pictures of your friends having fun or any other eye-catching shots.
2. Wait for your result to appear and enjoy an instant Dave Hill effect.
Color Isolation
Color isolation is an undoubtedly fantastic effect. Imagine a picture of a crowded street where everything except a tree sapling is in black and white. A shot of a red heart-shaped lollipop lying on a table would also look eye-catching if everything around the candy was in black and white. You can isolate anything you like: flowers, butterflies, red lips, green eyes and blue aviator glasses – you name them.
If you wonder how to make a photo with this effect, we must say that there isn’t really a way to shoot a monochrome photo and then add a full-color detail. You can only apply color isolation when you post-process a color photo. So take any image from your DSLR, point-and-shoot or phone camera as a source. If you have Photoshop, you could follow this fun tutorial on color isolation. But wait, there is an easier way to do it! Just head to and follow these simple instructions.
1. Let’s choose an appropriate effect for the photo. The first color isolation effect is Red Boost. It leaves shades of red and orange intact, while all the other colors fade away. It is a real magic for girls with red lips.


This is another example of this trendy color isolation effect:


2. The Blue Only effect works great for the blue-eyed people, as well as for azure butterflies and turquoise ocean.






3. Green only is the perfect effect to make green apples, plants or the green eyes of your cat look cattier than ever.
photo-without-green-only-effect  photo-with-green-only-effect
We hope that these little tutorials will evoke your imagination and help you make new masterpieces with your photos.

6 photo editing steps every photographer should know



Photo editing was at one time a controversial step for photographers. The wide capabilities of software like Photoshop made post-processing a quiet, private affair. No longer. It’s generally accepted now that even the best images can benefit from a few basic enhancements with photo editing software.

Below we’ve listed these essential photo editing adjustments in the order in which you should make them for the most efficient work process, or ‘workflow’. For example, it’s sensible to crop first – there’s no point spending time removing dust or adjusting exposure on areas of the picture a new crop will get rid of anyway.

You don’t necessarily need to apply every step to all of your images, either. For example, there are times the exposure is perfect so you won’t need to adjust the Levels. Simply check whether each step is needed on each image as you go through them.

Once your photo editing is completed to your satisfaction, it’s good practice to rename the final image using the Save As command, rather than overwriting the original file. That way you always have the original image should you want to undo some of your photo editing changes.

6 photo editing steps every photographer should know


Step 1: Crop your shot
Even well-composed images can benefit from cropping. Using the Crop tool, click and drag the box into position, and then fine-tune the crop by dragging the small box on each side. Level the horizon by dragging any corner of the box to rotate the crop.


Step 2: Remove sensor dust
Dust and another crud on your camera’s sensor are most visible on images taken at small apertures, such as f/16 or less, and on plain areas such as the sky. So the next step is to use the Healing Brush, as shown, to remove any dust spots on the image.


Step 3: Adjust the levels
To boost contrast, you need to brighten highlights and darken shadows. In the Levels window, drag the right-hand (white) arrow left to meet the end of the histogram to lighten the highlights, and the left-hand (black) arrow right to darken the shadows.


Step 4: boost the saturation
You may need to fine-tune your shot’s colors post-shoot. It’s always tempting to add lots of saturation to make your image look more colorful, but – like most adjustments – it’s best to keep changes to a minimum. Garish, noisy colors look awful.


Step 5: Convert to black and white
Mono can look magic, so make use of the simple conversion tool. Use the preset conversions from the drop-down menu to alter how different colors are converted. Choose a preset that gives good contrast without losing highlight or shadow detail.


Step 6: Sharpen up
Most digital images can benefit from this. The exact settings will depend on whether you are going to view the image on-screen or make a print, but you should always apply the minimum amount needed to avoid adding unwanted digital noise.