Tutorial: Photoshop CS4/5 Old Skool Treatment

In the days of darkrooms, a photograph was made by projecting light through a negative onto base stock (like Kodak paper). A metal frame was used to keep the paper in place and flat. This frame would block all the light and is why you had borders around the photos you picked up from the store. Professionally done images had crisp clean borders but if you did it at home and were not careful (or had a warped frame) you would get light leaks where the frame met the paper. This was especially true with un-coated papers. Depending on your point of view, this was nice or a problem.

Now-a-days, with direct printing, we do not have that but if you want to enhance your photo old skool-like (or cover up a blurry unusable photograph) this Photoshop tutorial will show you how.

This is an advanced tutorial and assumes basic knowledge of Photoshop. If you want to preserve the color of your (base) photo, do not do the Fill Layer Step. All settings are for the image size and resolution of the example picture. You may have to adjust your own settings based on size &/or resolution of your image files. [Note the final image will not have the little outside white box around it you see in this blog. WordPress is adding that.]

First you need this *.png image to create the uneven inner edge: Png File from Andrea Rascaglia.

1. Open Border_Polaroid_B.png in Photoshop (make sure it is opened as a PNG file, the center must be transparent – layer label should say Layer 0)
2. ‘Place’ the image you want to be framed. Placing it will make it a smart object which is good for the filters.
a. If the image is crisp/clear, apply a 4-5 px gaussian blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).
b. Add grain (Filter > Texture > Grain:: Try: Intensity = 21, Contrast = 41, Type = Regular).
3. Move your image to the bottom of the layer stack (if the polaroid layer [Layer 0] is a background layer you have a problem because transparency has been lost.)
4. Create a new fill layer above Layer 0 (Make Layer 0 active; Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color). Accept default name, set color to H:52° S:6%, B:98%
a. Set the Blend Mode to Color
5. Switch to Layer 0 and bring up blending options (right-click layer > Blending Options)
a. Set stroke color to H:52° S:19% B:96%
b. Set Position to INSIDE
c. Adjust size to cover all areas outside the Target image itself, then click OK. It should now look like the finished product desired.

Before

After

*These next steps sharpen the picture and create old skool contrast*

d. Duplicate the layer (CTRL/COMMAND + J)
e. Filter > Other > High Pass (set Radius to 1/100 of your image resolution. For my 240 ppi image, I set 2.4)
f. Set blend mode to Vivid Light
g. Merge the two layers
That’s it. You can flatten the image or File > Save for Web & Devices as final use dictates.

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