Create a 1970s-style retro photo print

    | Photoshop Tutorials | Tutorials | 13/06/2012 04:00am

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print

    The Osmonds, woodchip wallpaper… plenty of things from the 70s are best forgotten, but the faded look of round-cornered prints have lasting retro charm. You’ll find plenty of inspiration for this type of print if you’ve got an old photo album lying around.

    The 70s retro look can put the finishing touch to any shot, but combine it with a source image taken using one of the techniques in the first part of this feature, and you will end up with 
a really eye-catching result (you might also want to check out this other simple, cool way of getting a retro photo effect in Photoshop).

    We’ve limited our adjustments to some fading and rounding the corners for our image, but you could go to town and add some texture to give the appearance of tears and folds, or distress the edges for a more weathered effect.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print

    Step 1: Increase the canvas size
    Open your original image – in our case, this photo of an old church.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print - step 1

    To create a border around the image, go to Image>Resize>Canvas Size (or have a browse through our 50 free photo frames and borders for Photoshop). In the window that appears, change the value boxes to percent, then set Width to 110% and Height to 120%. Click the small box next to the Canvas Extension Colour menu and select a light creamy yellow from the colour picker.

    For more on this part of the process, check out our in-depth guide to using photo frames in Photoshop.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print - step 2

    Step 2: Create a border
    Next, create a new layer by clicking on the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Choose the Rounded Rectangle tool from the Tools palette and set the Radius in the top menu bar to 50 pixels. Then click and drag the rectangle so that it just covers the main image in the middle of the canvas.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print - step 3

    Step 3: Fill the corners
    With the top layer selected, choose the Magic Wand tool and set Tolerance to 0. Click on the border outside of the rectangle you’ve just added, then click on the Background layer in the Layers palette. Go to Edit>Fill Layer and choose Colour from the drop-down menu. Use the Colour Picker to sample the colour from the border and click OK.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print - step 4

    Step 4: Adjust the Levels
    Before you continue, click on the eye icon next to the top layer to hide it, then press Ctrl+D to remove the selection. Create a new Levels Adjustment Layer, then choose Blue from the drop-down menu and drag the middle slider to the right to add a warmer look to the midtones. For our image, we set a value of 0.59.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print - step 5

    Step 5: Tweak hue/saturation
    Finally, create a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. To desaturate the whole image leave the Channel menu set to Master and drag the Saturation slider to the left. For our image, we set this to -21, although you can adjust this once you have changed the individual colour settings.

    How to create a 1970s-style retro photo print - step 6

    Step 6: Drain the colour
    To achieve the faded colours that give an old print its distinctive look, enter the following values in the drop-down menu at the top of the Hue/Saturation box. In Yellows, set Saturation to 
-12, in Blues, set Saturation to -38, and in Cyans 
set Saturation to -70 and Hue to -30.


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    Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 4:00 am under Photoshop Tutorials, Tutorials.

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