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Vintage Lomo Effect
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Vintage Lomo Effect Photoshop Tutorial One of the most popular photo effects of all time is the lomo effect. This effect mimics the funky retro-looking colors, high contrast, and strong vignette of lomo cameras. The lomo effect is popular for its ability to turn boring snapshots into interesting abstract photos. Have garbage snapshots laying around on your computer? Find out how to turn those snapshots into awesome abstract photos in minutes with Photoshop.

Vintage Lomo Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Begin by opening any photo into Photoshop. The image I used for this tutorial looks pretty decent, but try using an image that doesn't look very interesting. Lomo cameras are popular for making every photo look interesting even if it has the worst composition.


The first step is to alter the color so that it imitates the color of photos taken with a real lomo camera. Lomo cameras tend to have vintage-looking colors because the reds in the photo have higher contrast. You can check this yourself by opening an image taken with a lomo camera into Photoshop and looking at the channels. If you do do this, make sure that you acquire images taken with a real lomo camera and not images that are converted with Photoshop. If you do a google search for lomo, many of those images are simply done with Photoshop and unfortunately, many lomo effects are not done correctly. They simply increase contrast, add an organic vignette, and apply color effects. That is why it's always easy to tell the difference between an image taken with a real lomo camera and one with just a Photoshop effect applied.

What we will do to adjust the color is to work directly with the red and green channel to increase the contrast. This will simulate the effects of lomo cameras. To do this, we'll be using the Levels tool. We'll add a Levels adjustment layer instead of using the Levels tool directly onto the image. This is so that we're editing the image with a non-destructive method where the original image is kept untouched in case you want to see what the original image looks like without the lomo effect.

Begin by clicking on the New Adjustment Layer button in the Layers palette.


A menu will appear where you can select Levels.


Once you selected Levels, the Levels tool will appear where you can edit the settings.


In the Levels tool, click on the drop down menu where it says RGB. Select Red. We'll be editing the red channel first.


Now that you have the Red channel selected in the Levels tool, we can increase the contrast of the histogram. When you do this, you will notice the colors changing and it is beginning to look like the real colors of a lomo camera. Drag the black and white input slider closer towards the middle like the screenshot below. This will increase the contrast. Yes, you will be clipping some details, but don't worry because we are working on an adjustment layer and not directly on the image layer itself. This means that you can always fix the settings anytime you want without worrying about losing data. When you're done, don't click OK yet.


The image may have a pink tint to it. To fix this, click on the drop down menu located near the top of the Levels tool and edit the Green channel. Drag the black and white input slider towards the center like how we did with the red channel. As you drag the sliders, you should see the image colors change. While you drag the slider, look at the image to get the colors that you want.


When you're done, click OK. Now we have a Levels adjustment layer.