Daguerreotype Vintage Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today I'm going to show you how to create a vintage photo effect, based on Daguerreotypes from the 1800s

Being the most common photography method in the 19th century, this photo style is often associated with old portraits and scenes of the wild west Daguerreotypes were exposed onto polished metal plates which were easily tarnished and scratched This has become one of the main aesthetics of these antique images, so we'll be using some texture images to mimic the appearance And to achieve the most realism, we'll be using the real thing! I recently found some public domain scans of authentic Daguerreotype photographs, which I processed into design resources by Photoshopping out the subject to leave just the texture of the tarnished metal plate You can download the textures for free from my Spoon Graphics website by following the link in the description area below

If you want a massive library of design resources available for your other projects, be sure to check out Envato Elements, the ultimate creative toolkit for designers So create your Daguerreotype photo effect you first need an image to work with Absolutely any picture will work, but modern subjects or clothing fashions probably won't quite complement the style

Old western buildings, landscapes or portraits tend to work well The original Daguerreotype photos had long exposure times of over 20 seconds, which is why they're mostly of people rigidly sat staring with blank expressions, and rarely of moving subjects I'm using this stock photo of 'a senior gentleman wearing a western style suit and cowboy hat' from Shutterstock Daguerreotype plates were only sensitive to blue light, which is why the eyes of those old portraits often look so creepy We can replicate this in Photoshop using a Channel Mixer adjustment layer

Choose the option from the Adjustment Layer menu at the bottom of the Layers panel Check the Monochrome option to make the image black and white, then reduce the Red and Green channels to zero, and bring the Blue channel to 100% The key ingredient is the Daguerreotype texture, choose a suitable vintage photo overlay from my free collection that suits the overall composition of your image We want plenty of stains and scratches, but we still want the subject to be visible Texture number 18 has some distressed areas which would cover the background of my photo, while the darker areas wouldn't affect the main subject as much

Open the texture in Photoshop, then go to Select > All, followed by Edit > Copy Close the file to return back to the main document, then go to Edit > Paste Press CMD+T, or CTRL+T on Windows to Transform, then scale the texture to fill the canvas There's three blending modes that tend to work best with textures Screen makes the dark areas transparent, leaving just the white marks

This is a little too much distressing for my picture Overlay blends both the light and dark areas, but it's now too dark for my image Soft Light is similar to Overlay, but isn't quite as heavy, which helps preserve more of the subject You can also experiment with different orientations of the texture Hit CMD+T again, then right click and choose Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical to alter where the texturing is applied

Next add a Levels adjustment layer Drag this layer below the texture in the Layers panel so it only affects the original photograph Drag the Output Level slider inwards to clip the shadows to bring back some of the image Vintage photos never have a deep black, so this step helps replicate this Move the shadows and highlights sliders to bring back some contrast to the image

The exact values are specific to your particular photo, so just eyeball it until you have a clear picture without blowing out the highlights too much If you want even more texturing, you could apply another vintage photo overlay, or my free Dust and Scratches textures also complement the style quite well Open a chosen texture, then use the shortcuts CMD+A to Select All, CMD+C to Copy and CMD+V to Paste, followed by CMD+T to Transform Set the blending mode of this layer to Screen The texture is brightening the overall image a little too much, so go to Image > Adjustment > Levels and drag the shadows slider inwards to darken the blacks

Remember, any dark areas are made invisible in the Screen blending mode, so it leaves just the white dust and scratches marks The effect could be left black and white, but a gradient map is a great finishing touch to add a classic sepia tone to the effect Click the gradient bar in the Properties panel to edit the gradient, then click the left swatch to alter the first colour Choose a dark brown of #12100d Edit the highlights swatch and enter a creamy white of #f0e7ca

Adjust the opacity of the gradient map layer to easily alter its strength Make sure the gradient map is placed below both the textures, so the colouring is only applied to the photograph and not the stains and scratches The final result is a realistic Daguerreotype photo effect with a lovely vintage appearance The authentic Daguerreotype texture really helps achieve the look by applying the exact tarnished surface effects as the real thing Combined with some channels and levels adjustments, as well as a gradient map you can quickly transform a modern digital image into an antique photograph from the 19th century

If you enjoyed this tutorial or learned any new tricks be sure to subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube Channel to stick around for more Head over to my Spoon Graphics website to check out my other content, and join my mailing list to get all my other free design resources As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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