Create the “Faded Film” look in 30 seconds using Photoshop or Lightroom

Mar 18, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Create the “Faded Film” look in 30 seconds using Photoshop or Lightroom

Mar 18, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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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.

YouTube video

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]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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10 responses to “Create the “Faded Film” look in 30 seconds using Photoshop or Lightroom”

  1. Ben Fletcher Avatar
    Ben Fletcher

    Nope

  2. Rachel Lewis Avatar
    Rachel Lewis

    This is great for the beginner that’s overwhelmed easy with photoshop who’s looking to get a filmic look.

    1. Dunja0712 Avatar
      Dunja0712

      I agree. Thank you.

  3. relinquis . Avatar
    relinquis .

    what I’d really like to see is how to get a non-faded, actual 35mm film look out of digital camera… now that is non-trivial

    1. Sean Marc Lee Avatar
      Sean Marc Lee

      It’s strange that everyone prizes this look or supremely lo-fi film photography. And while I love that look and it serves its purpose in spur of the moment diaristic work, it’s like people forgot film can actually look good! I was recently asked by a client who wanted me to shoot film cause he wanted it grainy and low fi underexposed. But instead I told them I’d rather shoot it the best way and I can and not have it look that way! Funny how it works lately.

      1. relinquis . Avatar
        relinquis .

        It’s very odd. Don’t these people remember what it’s like to go to the cinema? What actual film looks like, not to mention what real 35mm prints look like

        I watched the movie “Jackie” recently. It was shot on Super 16mm and looks great projected on a 40ft screen. This is on a format that is smaller than 35mm film and which is probably scanned at 2k or 4k max, i.e. less than 8 megapixels and projected digitally. Watch the trailer if you haven’t seen it to get an idea. It looks like 16mm, but far from lo-fi

        It’s very much a different aesthetic and I think it might be possible to emulate it to some extent with digital, but I don’t see people seriously tackling this issue. An exception is Steve Yedlin, a cinematographer who has an interesting demo of a profile he created for the Alexa to match 35mm film. (I don’t know if links are allowed here, search online for Steve Yedlin Display Prep Demo). I don’t buy into his argument fully, but he has definitely brought an interesting perspective.

        Personally, I’ve played around with camera profiles (canon), DNG editors and while I’m able to get a different aesthetic from the basic camera profiles, I’m far from being able to do what he has or to really emulate film.

        I think I’ll try to shoot some colour checker charts on various 35mm film stocks (Fuji Pro 400, Kodak Ektar & Portra and maybe CineStill) and then see if I can use scans from those to create better profiles. I’m not ready to go through the rabbit hole of using things like DCPTool or studying colour science… easier to just shoot film when I want that look and get it scanned as I’m not a professional, just an enthusiast who can take risks with my images for the most part… also, I don’t have that kind of time to spend behind a computer!

  4. Lisamery Avatar
    Lisamery

    It is from Mathieu, I love his work and his channel! especially like the quick tips. This seems a bit easy. Good job.

  5. PiXelz Center Avatar
    PiXelz Center

    Wow! Great tutorial. Gathered lot of information from your informative resources. You have explained the whole process nicely. Love your work. Keep your writing

  6. Ashim Devnath Avatar
    Ashim Devnath

    Thanks for sharing such an informative and effective article.I really like your work.Keep continue to writing this type of tutorial.

  7. David Mateo Avatar
    David Mateo

    So interesting post, I’ve recently discovered these actions and must say they look incredible too https://www.psdfilm.com/vintage-films-emulation-photoshop.html