No question about it: The analog look of street and portrait shots is being hyped on social media right now. But you can also create vintage-style photos without film or an analog camera. Here are a few hacks that will help you do that.
Analog or digital? There is hardly any other question that the photo world seems to have more under control. Because while the latest system cameras from Sony, Fuji and Co. are bringing a breath of fresh air to the digital photo market, many artists prefer analog cameras. And not without reason. The special colors and the soft look of analog photos create a melancholy atmosphere. The pictures seem like from another time and somehow atmospheric from the situation. It is precisely this mood that you can also create digitally. And that's how it works.
The characteristic colors
What distinguishes analog photos the most from digital images is their characteristic coloring. For example, if you take pictures with the Kodak Gold 200, you get discreetly desaturated colors and a warm light and color mood. You can use this design as a source of inspiration in post-production. With color grading you can immerse the lights and shadows in soft orange and yellow tones. If necessary, desaturate the colors a little afterwards. For soft contours also reduce the clarity. You can make the lights appear softer by inclining the gradation curve slightly towards the negative at the upper end.
For the expressive Ilford HP5 look, you should increase the contrast on your black and white photo. The best way to do this is to make the highs more brilliant and the lows a little darker. Then add a subtle blue tint to the color grading for a cool finish. Suitable film overlays are also recommended for authentic results.
Use analog lenses
You can attach analog lenses to almost all system and digital SLR cameras. In other words, optics that were on the market before the digital age. The result is warm colors as well as buttery soft contours and lights. Another advantage: You can get old lenses with a super light intensity for less than a hundred euros. The most popular are fixed focal lengths with 50 mm or 35 mm with a high aperture of f / 1.8. To connect the old lenses there is Suitable adapters for every camera manufacturer. However, you will then have to do without the autofocus.
Add more grain!
In analog photography, nothing works without grain! That's why you should also give your digital photos a bit of grain. The best way to do this is through Lightroom. Here you can also determine the arrangement and the grain size. Black and white photos and images with motion blur, in particular, look much more atmospheric with grain. However, the digitally generated grain of Lightroom and Photoshop often appears very clear and artificial. With the help of Film overlays does the grain even more analogue and realbecause it is rather irregularly distributed.
Playing with lens flares
Lens flares occur when the sun hits the lens directly. The round points of light are actually considered image defects and are largely eliminated by modern, high-priced lenses. In order to create a retro look, however, flaring can definitely be wanted. Because it is precisely the bright circles of light and washed-out lights that determine the analog image character. To create lens flares, take pictures directly against the light with open glare. You can determine the position of the circles yourself by changing the camera perspective. However, the effect can also be added in post-production.
Darkened image edges are also considered to be unwanted image errors in photography. This washed-out dark frame is caused by a fall in light at the edge. Compared to old lenses, modern lenses hardly show any vignetting. If used discreetly, they can be aesthetic and contribute to an analog look. You can easily add vignettes using Photoshop and Lightroom. There you can also find the Intensity and size choose freely.
Blurring as a design element
Analog photography lives from momentary frames, snapshots, the imperfect. In the past, photos with motion blur were often taken in low light. Since modern digital cameras are much more sensitive to light, motion blur can be better avoided. Digital photos therefore often appear sharper, more brilliant, more perfect. However, if you want to capture the moody, imperfect vibe of analog photography, you can use the Increase the shutter speed a little. Depending on the focal length, here 1/50 to 1/20 seconds sufficient to create dynamic motion blur.
Due to manual focusing, “wrongly” focused subjects used to be on the agenda. Therefore, set your motif consciously out of focus. Blurring leaves room for imagination and creates emotions.
Analog finish with film overlays
There are special film overlays that give your photo the finishing touches. Overlays work like a kind of mask that you can put on your photo in post-processing. This gives you a large selection of analog colors and settings. Overlays are provided as png files and can be easily imported into Photoshop with just a few clicks. Put the file on top of your picture as an additional layer. Then you can add the two images together via “Mode”. There is for example matching overlayswith whom you the look of the Kodak Gold 200 or the Ilford HP5 Films received. Here you get to the different bundles.