Portraits and post-processing notes to get a vintage look in the photos in Lightroom

Posted on Sep 2, 2014

In this post with the photos taken for Giulia’s portfolio, rather than on the technique of shooting (also in this case, just natural light without any reflector panels), I would like to talk about the post-production.

The VSCO Cam presets and filters are usually a really very good base, but unfortunately a lot of time they take away the autonomy in choosing the correct color you want.

If you want to obtain a picture with the look and feel “in the VSCO way” in Lightroom you can, in any case, work manually on some parameters that I consider the most important one: the slide of saturation to remove or increase the intensity of some colors and the curves. The curves setting is so important to change the contrast and to make the image looking softer.

A lot of time, to give a vintage look, you can use the split toning section in Lightroom, to give a bit of warm color to the highlights and a blue cast on the shadows. This is a usual technique to get this kind of moody images.

Then I another suggestion I give, is to remove a bit of black to the curve. To do it, you just rise up the point of black on the lower left of the curve. It gives some black less intense that mimic more the results from old vintage prints.


Split toning and curve values I give to achieve the vintage look in Lightroom

A note on the photo camera I’ve used for the shot: together with the usual Canon 5D Mk2 and the 50mm f / 1.4, for some images I’ve used a mirrorless Samsung NX300 with an old Zenith lens with screw mount. The lens has been attached to the body via an adapter. The results of that lens are very soft and therefore I think it is a perfect lens for portrait shoots.

   I suggest you to give a look at the other vintage lens posts I did using adaptors on the mirrorless system camera:

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