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46. A Vintage Look in Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements made short work of getting the vintage look I wanted from this photo.

One of our models brought a 1940s or 1950s outfit that worked perfectly in the old farmhouse we were shooting in this past weekend.  This photo takes me back to pre-air conditioning days and I wanted the processing to carry on that theme.

I started by using the awesome content-aware spot healing brush tool in Elements 9 to remove the piece of the chair on the left side of the image.  Unfortunately, this tool isn’t available in versions of Elements prior to 9, but you could get the same results with the clone tool – it would just take a bit longer.  To use the spot healing brush, by the way, I created a new blank layer above the background layer.  Turned on the “Sample All Layers” box and removed the chair.  After making the edits non-destructively, I flattened the image.

Next, I ran Color Fusion Mix and Match from MCP’s Fusion.  No changes were necessary to the default Fusion/One Click Color layers.  I turned on the following layers, all at default opacities:

  • Desire
  • Retro Surprise
  • Passion

I chose those layers by experimenting with all the possibilities until I found the vintage look I was imagining.

Here is a before and after – you can click on it to view a larger size.

Fusion’s base One-Click workflow is fabulous.  Although it’s completely adjustable, I find that I don’t often need to make any changes to its defaults.  The contrast, brightening, color pop – everything – work on so many photos.  This photo definitely needed a good defog/crisping, plus some color and contrast.  And adding the treatments on top gave me just the look I was going for.  And Fusion creates many looks in addition to vintage too.

Who says Photoshop Elements can’t do everything it’s big brother can?


46. A Vintage Look in Photoshop Elements was last modified: June 21st, 2015 by Erin Peloquin


  1. wayoutnumbered Says :
    Posted on March 29, 2011 at 7:09 am

    That treatment works perfectly for that image~ I personally still use pse6 and I’ve found a way to do *almost* everything I want to do in Elements. I try to get my exposure as good as I can in-camera so there’s less fixing to do and then I have plenty of actions/textures to play with to achieve the styles I want. I’ve learned to work with layers really well so I tweak all the actions to fit my style.
    I will be upgrading soon but I’ll probably invest in LR3 before CS5 since it seems everyone can’t stop raving about it. For anyone who has Elements and can’t upgrade yet, never let that be an excuse to not create great images. It’s full of possibility!

    • admin
      Posted on March 29, 2011 at 7:53 am

      You are so right! First, get a good SOOC. Next, play! I think LR and PSE make a great combination. LR speeds up processing time so much and it’s easy to open images into Elements to complete the look. Can’t wait to hear what you think about LR!

  2. ingrid Says :
    Posted on March 29, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Very nice! I need to spend a little time thinking about things before I jump into editing my photos.

  3. Karen Johnson Says :
    Posted on March 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I like to use LR too. I download my photos to LR, go through and do editing in there and then take the ones I like into PSE9 to, like you said, complete the look.

  4. charlotte wilson Says :
    Posted on April 1, 2011 at 9:36 am

    This is fabulous…what a difference from the SOOC. I edit with PSE 7 and 9. Although I like some of the new things about PSE 9, I find that it is a little persnickety sometimes, a little slow in some areas.
    I wonder about lightroom. I think you can probably get a trial of it online, so I might do that.

  5. Pamela
    Posted on April 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    How do you make your “chick” watermark? I would love to have a bent text with a rose. Instructions for Photoshop Elements 7 please.

    Thanks, PP

  6. Veronika
    Posted on April 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Your shot errs in just one aspect: the model should have worn a pointy bra instead of such a naturally shaped one!

    • admin
      Posted on April 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Haha! You are so right – I thought this comment was spam at first. Teehee!

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