If you like the “faded film” look, this latest video tutorial from Mathieu Stern is for you. You can create this washed out, dreamy look in a few seconds, you only need a few simple adjustments in Photoshop. I tried it out on some of my images, too. I didn’t really expect to like it, but I was surprised by the result. It kinda grew on me. As a matter of fact, I even made a Lightroom preset.
Editing image in Photoshop
1– Open the image in Photoshop and create a new Adjustment Layer “Curves”. Mathieu copies the layer before it, but I didn’t do it.
2– Adjust the RGB curve as in the image below, which will make the blacks brighter and make the image “washed out” a bit.
3– Move to the “Blue” channel, and adjust it as in the picture.
Of course, you don’t need to be super-precise with the curves. Alter them slightly and find which point works best for your image. If you like, you can learn more about curves here. Here’s how it worked out for Mathieu:
And these are some of my photos:
Making a preset in Lightroom
If you like this look, you can also make it a Lightroom preset, so you have it handy when you need it. I use Lightroom way more than Photoshop, and I like to have the presets for my favorite photo looks.
1– Apply the changes to the Curves as you did in Photoshop.
2– Go to Develop > New preset (or Ctrl+Shift+N on Windows/Cmd+Shift+N on Mac).
3– In the dialog box, uncheck all the settings, and then only check “Curve”. Name your preset, choose the folder and click “create”. Now you can apply in Lightroom in literally one second.
Here’s one from Lightroom (sooc vs. preset):
I especially like how this look applies to portraits, but sometimes it can work with other images, too. If you don’t shoot film (yet), but you’re attracted to the mood it creates, you can have some fun with this look and see how it works for you. And since I shared some of my results, I’d love to see yours in the comments below.
[How to get the Faded Film look in 30 Seconds | Photoshop | Mathieu Stern]