Sunday, February 26, 2012

how to add lomo light effects to your photos

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adding lomo light effects is a cool way to give your photos a vintage vibe.  you'll need some pretty basic experience with photoshop to follow this tutorial because i didn't include any screen shots.  

 first-google lomo light effects to find some good stock photos-these are the ones i used:

next, choose a photo that you want to modify and open in photoshop:

once it's open in photoshop, open the 'layers' window and double click on the background to turn it into a layer.  this step isn't really necessary but it unlocks the background so you can do more modifications to it.

next, go to 'File', 'Place...', and choose the lomo light stock photo you want.

there are 2 different methods-i prefer the first but it really depends on how the lomo light stock works with your photo.

with the first method, adjust the lomo light layer so that it takes up the entire image, at this point your whole picture will just look like the lomo light.  once you are done adjusting, push 'enter', right click on the lomo light layer, and click 'rasterize layer'.  

now, the layer will automatically be set to 'normal', click on this to open a drop-down window of options.  i went with 'overlay', but you can play around with the different options to see what you like best.  

at this point, your photo will look pretty dark, but you can either increase the brightness of your background layer (the actual photo), or decrease the opacity of the lomo light layer:
this is what it looks like after i increased the brightness of the background layer.  i thought it was still a bit dark, so i used the 'dodge tool' (it always looks like a lollipop to me...) and went over a couple places.  you can set it to midtones or shadows, and i turned the hardness down to 0%, and the exposure down to 30ish%-this helps avoid leaving a hard edge.  and the final photo:
pretty cool right?  i made this one just for the tutorial but i actually really like the way it turned out...

so for the second method-if you don't really want the rest of your photo to become darker or you really just want a small area of lomo-after you place the stock photo, adjust it so that covers only a small portion of your photo.  once you are down adjusting, push 'enter', and 'rasterize layer' like method 1.  

now, use the 'eraser tool', hardness 0%, opacity 50ish%, and erase all the black parts, or any part that you don't want on your final photo.  
i set the lomo layer to 'overlay' again here.  

and that's it!!  i always use photoshop to edit my photos but i've never used lomo before-i really like the effect and it's actually a pretty easy process.  

i think i might use this one for one of those fabric transfer projects i've seen floating around-they generally already have a pretty vintage look when transferred onto fabrics and i think this would really enhance the look.  


  1. I love that effect. I suck at photoshop! If you ever do a step to step video tutorial, please let me know! I have been trying to learn how to edit my photos.

    1. i know the feeling of sucking at photoshop...i still feel that way lol!! you just have to keep playing around with it...photoshop 'actions' are also a really easy way to get some interesting looks.

  2. great tutorial. What is another good and easy program to edit photos besides photoshop? Something very user friendly.

    1. sorry, i usually stick with photoshop because there are so many editing options...but that does make it kind of confusing:/

      but like i mentioned in the other comment, 'actions' are really easy to use (once you download/install them) and you can get similar effects with just a few clicks.

  3. Hi there! I love this post!! I can't wait to give this a try!!! I hope you don't mind, but I have included this tutorial in a blog post: Top 10 photoshop tutorials, on my blog, "Cookies with Cronkite." I have included a link to this post, a picture and a link to your blog homepage. Check it out.. please leave comments, I would LOVE your feed back!!

    Here's a link to the post! Thanks again for a great tutorial!


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