Vintage photos — or new photos that look vintage — are always fun. The effect of making an image look a little bit faded or old can enhance an otherwise dull photo. Just look at Instagram! The platform was almost entirely built on making the new look old again.

But the look isn’t relegated to just Instagram, nor is it restricted to cheesy, “faded film” looks. Film of course was a real thing with real texture and real color signatures. Certain types of film had specific color bias. For example, Kodak was traditionally richer in the reds and yellows (and therefore was preferred for a lot of portrait work), while Fuji leaned more on greens and blues (and was therefore quite popular among landscape photographers).

Rediscover the magic of silver halidE film

So if you want to make your photos look like they were shot on film today, (without actually going out and shooting film!), how do you do that? Fortunately DxO has a wonderful app called DxO FilmPack which does a remarkable job of bringing the look of him to our digital photos. And it’s not just about adding some fake grain or color cast. It goes so much farther, diving into tone response curves and actual grain patterns from scans of real film stock!

The app works either standalone, or as a plugin to popular apps like Adobe Lightroom Classic. From Lightroom, before you treat an image in DxO FilmPack, you’ll want to do your basic editing first — any color enhancements, retouching, etc. Try not to make it too contrasty though, as a lot of film looks do add quite a bit of contrast to the image. Once you’ve selected a photo, navigate to the menu Photo > Edit In > DxO FilmPack to open your photo in the app.

Once in the app, you can just start clicking on presets… but if you want to find a specific type of film, try the Filter menu to narrow the search.

Once you’ve selected a preset, you can easily do a before/after view, and one thing I really like, is you get some history on the left hand side about that film. It’s really interesting to read about the look you’ve chosen!
You can further adjust the photo by going to the editor, and tweaking the look, or even adding frames, light leaks, vignettes, and a lot more!

The editor lets you make any preset truly unique

When you’re all done, to get back to Lightroom, simply go to File > Save & return to Lightroom and you’ll be right back where you started!
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