Complete the vintage toy camera aesthetic

To complete the analogue toy camera look from last month, we’ll use three superb free textures from SkeletalMess. We’ll work with a bubbly light effect, some interesting graduated light streaks and a grungy border.

We’ll mix the bubbly light texture in with our image using a Light blending mode, to add a double-exposed film effect. Then for the light streaks we’ll use Screen blending to selectively lighten and fade parts of our image, creating an old Polaroid effect. Finally, we’ll mix the grungy border in using the Blend If sliders.

01 Our first texture adds a bubbly light effect to our phone box image. Once we’ve resized our image to fit the frame, this kind of texture is perfect for the Soft Light blending mode, which uses the light and dark pixels of the texture to lighten, darken and exert a subtle colouring effect on the image underneath.

02 We can control the strength of this texture effect with the Opacity slider – here I turned it down to 50%. However, while the bubble effect seems to work for most of the image, there are areas around the middle where it might be distracting. So here we’ll just use a black paint brush on the layer mask to rub out any areas of the texture that we don’t want to see.

03 Our next texture is a series of light streaks. We can use these to introduce a kind of faded analogue print look to our image. For this we’ll use the Screen blending mode, with a lightening effect and the opacity turned down to 57%. Again this effect works in some parts of the photo better than it does in others, so mask out any unwanted area with a black brush.

04 With our border texture, we must import it then resize it – which we can do with Photoshop’s Free Transform tool. I’ll keep this effect simple by using the Normal blending mode, but turning the opacity down to 88% just to enable the image to burn through and bleed a little into the borders. Now Ctrl/right-click on this border layer, in the Layers panel, and bring up Blending Options.

05 To blend this texture in, we’ll use the Blend If sliders. Using the This Layer sliders, bring the highlight pointer down to about 8. Now anything in our border texture with a luminosity value of more than 8 will be invisible. To make this effect smoother and bring some more of the border’s texture in, Opt/Alt-click the highlight slider to split it apart and bring the right slider up to 114.




Topic Filter: Commercial / Landscape / Portrait / Stock / What's Hot

Related Tutorials


Martin Lawrence

After many years as a keen amateur photographer, I decided to start a small landscape photography business called Lakescenes which I ran alongside my main job as an IT Manager. As business increased, I found myself working long, but rewarding, hours just to keep up […]

Read More

Rob Sheppard

Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the […]

Read More

Gary Hart

Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.

Read More

Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz

Originally from Poland, based in London UK, Jaroslav has background in Fine Arts, degree in Architecture, and wide array of experience. Being an Architect taught him how to be resourceful and to solve complex problems with simple, yet innovative solutions. Constant passion for graphic & […]

Read More

What's Hot

Long exposures of the night sky

Next time you’re in the countryside at night do yourself a favour: look up. If it’s clear and conditions are right you’ll see a seemingly infinite number of stars twinkling like diamonds on a sheet of black velvet. As a visual pleasure it’s hard to […]

Read More

Dealing with Contrast

Contrast is usually at its highest when a scene is backlit. In this image there wasn’t much that could be done to lighten the shadows. I exposed so that the highlights weren’t too badly burnt out and didn’t worry too much about the shadows. Contrast […]

Read More

Black and White Portraits : Weekend Assignment

Colour can be distracting. Stripped of colour an image is entirely about the subject (unless of course the entire point of the subject is its colour…). This is particularly true of portraiture. Black and white arguably conveys the inner soul of the subject more powerfully […]

Read More