5 Photoshop Tips to Add Authentic Black & White Analog Film Effects to Your Photos

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today I'm going to show you 5 tips to add authentic looking black and white analog film effects to your photos

While modern digital cameras produce vastly superior images with crips colourful pixels, photographers still love the nostalgia of old film based cameras and the character of the photographs they produce, especially the beautiful mood and tones of black and white film stock It takes a lot of practice and experience to master analogue photography, plus there's a lot of messy work with various chemicals involved to develop traditional photographic film, but Photoshop has some great built-in tools that you can use to transform your digital pictures into realistic looking film based shots It just requires a basic understanding of how analogue pictures are made, so you can then find ways to mimic the appearance with Photoshop adjustments But first, a big thank you to Envato Elements for sponsoring today's video To begin creating an authentic analog film effect, open up a standard digital photograph in Adobe Photoshop I'm using this photo of a 'Pretty lady in a black fur coat' from Shutterstock The quickest and easiest way to properly convert your image to black and white is to use a Black and White adjustment layer Unlike desaturating or converting to grayscale, this adjustment layer preserves the tones of image and produces the black and white effect based on the colour information

One of the advantages of modern photography and post-processing is we have loads of sliders to finely control every aspect of the image appearance, but traditionally photographers would rely on colour filters to alter the tones Some of these filters are preserved in Photoshop as Presets Click the menu and toggle between the Blue, Green, Red and Yellow filters to see the difference they make Yellow filters were a popular choice with analog photographers, but in my example I like the Green filter because it enhances the skin while retaining the darkness of the red lipstick Photographic film had to be developed with chemicals in order for the image to emerge

Different chemicals would generate different colour casts Some of the popular toning effects are available in Photoshop as Gradient Maps Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer, then under the small settings icon, load the Photographic Toning presets Here you'll find effects that replicate the appearance of authentic chemical toning, such as the antique browns of sepia or the silvery-blues of selenium There's also cross-processing effects, and cobalt, copper and cyanotype presets too

The difference is very subtle, but a slightly colourised monochrome appearance is much more realistic than the pure black RGB values the default black and white effect produces Film grain is another much loved characteristic of analog photographs Unlike the ugly pixels of digital ISO that ruins an image, the sensitivity of photographic film produces a texture that adds to the shot As I discussed in my Film Grain video earlier in the year, there's a range of techniques you can use to add grain to your images One of the quickest and easiest methods is using the Camera Raw Filter

First convert the original image layer into a Smart Object by right clicking the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object This will allow the image to be non-destructively edited, so the effect can be modified or removed later Open the Camera Raw Filter toolset from under the Filter menu The settings for Film Grain can be found under the FX tab, where you can adjust the amount, size and roughness Unlike a basic pixel-based noise effect, this film grain looks much more realistic, and the scaling ability is particularly useful when working on high resolution images

Once a film had been developed the photograph would then be reproduced as a print, but the type of paper stock would also affect the appearance of the picture Modern photos are typically printed on glossy paper, which preserves deep blacks, whereas Lustre or Matte prints have more of a subdued appearance which is preferred for black and white imagery The weaker blacks of a matte print can be replicated in Photoshop using a Levels adjustment layer Move the darker end of the Output Levels slider to the right slightly to clip the blacks to more of a dark grey The highlights can also be brought inwards to eliminate any bright whites

Then there's one more addition that can really help give your images an old film print look, and that's to overlay one of my film dust textures You can download this pack for free from my Spoon Graphics website Inside you'll find a variety of textures, from subtle grain to heavy particles Placing this texture over your clean digital images helps transform it into an old print that has been slightly damaged and distressed over the years Select a texture and open it in Photoshop

Go to Select > All, followed by Edit > Copy In the main document, Paste the graphic, then use the CMD, or CTRL key on Windows, and T shortcut to Transform Scale the texture to fill the canvas Set the blending mode of this layer to Screen to make the black areas transparent, leaving just the white dust and scratches The final result is a lovely black and white image with the charm of a nostalgic film photograph

By using the tools available in Photoshop, we were able to transform a clean digital shot into an authentic looking analog photo If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any new tricks, be sure to give the video a Like and subscribe to the channel to stick around for more Head over to my Spoon Graphics website and join my mailing list to receive more free resources, otherwise thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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