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Tips & Tricks

Lightroom Tutorial | Getting Vintage Looks In Lightroom Without Presets

By Wendell Weithers on February 13th 2018

Every photographer has an origin story. The details of this story vary from person to person but, we all have someone, something, some event, that embedded the seed of love for the craft that blossoms throughout our lives. And as humans are wont to do, we seek to reclaim that spark, that feeling, that sense of the authentic beauty which started it all.

If you possess that nostalgic impulse, you have no shortage of options to pursue it and fashion photographer Julia Trotti has recently provided you with another. In a recent YouTube video, she shares a few tips on creating vintage tones in Lightroom.

1 – Tone Curve Adjustment

  • Lift the Blacks
  • Reduce the Shadows (to maintain/restore contrast in the image)
  • Reduce the Whites to mute the highlights

2 – Sharpen Image

3 – Basic Panel Adjustments

  • Raise the Exposure and Highlights to  create a slightly overexposed look
  • Reduce the Blacks slider to restore some contrast
  • Increase the Vibrance –impacts the cooler colors in your image
  • Decrease the Saturation – impacts the warmer colors in your image
  • Adjust the Temperature and Tint

4 – HSL Panel Adjustments

  • Reduce the Saturation of the Green and Yellow sliders

5 – Split Toning

  • Warm the Highlights

If you want to learn a few more tips about how to get more out of Lightroom, be sure to click the links below.

Lightroom Better | Creating A Rich, Faded Wedding Look

Lightroom Better | Customizing Your Lightroom Workspace

A Guide To Color Processing In Lightroom Or Photoshop | Step Up Your Image Color

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Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Bari Attila

    You have no idea what is the difference between vibrance and saturation. Its not about cooler or warmer colors. 

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  2. Ross Backhurst

    Looks a bit naive to my eye. Greens and reds aren’t too vintage and skintones are quite modern/digital. I’d recommend you to check the Kodachrome pool on flickr or RNI All Films for LR, it’s film presets but remarkably decent ones.

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  3. Thomas Glükler

    Seen many posts like this, but still nothing can beat RNI. It’s true that they charge $170 for the full LR package but when it comes to vintage looks, their implementation of Kodachrome is second to none. That aesthetics and harmony can be hardly replaced with any generic advice.

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