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The Ultimate Lomo Photography Effect Tutorial – Lomography Photoshop Video Tutorial

By Pye Jirsa on May 27th 2011

how-to-create-lomo-effect-photoshop-video-tutorial-splashThe image above was shot on a Canon 5D Mark IIand Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L

Lomo Photography or Lomography has gained quite the cult following in recent years. And it’s no wonder. These little Lo-Fi cameras, such as the Lomo LC-A, produce some really cool and compelling images. Aside from the Lo-Fi look of the Lomo, the other main feature of Lomography is the cross processing of the Color Slide Film.

A while back, I was trying to recreate this look on my digital photographs. However, the few tutorials I found online, while they were a start, didn’t really get me to the final Lomo look that I was trying to achieve. So, I made my own process, and now I have turned it into a full in depth tutorial for all of our SLR Lounge peeps.

We have broken this tutorial into two distinct parts. In Part I, we are going to take a look at Lomo Photography and dissect the images characteristics so that we know exactly how to reproduce them in Adobe Photoshop
In Part II, we are going to start Photoshopping our image from start to finish. So, if you want to get straight to the Adobe Photoshop
part of this tutorial, skip to the second video in Part II.

Part I – Understanding Lomography and Analyzing the Characteristics of a Lomo Photograph

Our goal, is to help photographers understand and be able to recreate effects on their own by analyzing and dissecting image characteristics of Lomo photographs. If you are too excited and want to get right to the Photoshopping, then skip to Part II below. Otherwise, enjoy this first video, and then move on to the second.

Part II – Recreating the Lomo Effect in Adobe Photoshop – Creating Lomography from Digital Photography

In Part I, we identified the steps we need to turn our digital images into great looking Lomo style images. In Part II, we are going to teach step by step how to turn your digital photographs into Lomographs.

Specifically, we will create the Lomo effect by recreating these characteristics that we identified in Part I.

Distinct Characteristics of a Lomo Photograph
1) Cross Processed Colors
2) Increased Saturation
3) Blown Highlights/Clipped Shadows
4) Heavy Vignetting
5) Film Grain
6) Sharp Center/Blurred Edges

So, let’s get on to the good stuff and actually create our Lomo image in the Adobe Photoshop video tutorial below.

Hope you all enjoy! Let us know what you think.

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Post Production Pye
SLR Lounge Senior Editor
Partner ofLin and Jirsa Photography

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Good Info thanks.

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  2. Basit Zargar

    Learned great things from you
    Thanks !

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  3. Magical Photographic Effects to make Photos Adorable

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  7. Djculver11

    I would love to give this a try, but the working file is no where to be found on the link above.  tried google, and jsut about every other place, but can’t seem to find “that” particular file.

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  8. Sdsd

    Yes, it´s great

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  9. Chris

    Great tutorial. Have shared for others to enjoy on my new fb page

    Hope to see more like this!

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  10. Nico Socha

    creating a tutorial at 5:35 AM ?! No way boy ;-)

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  11. Toietmoi

    good job 

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  12. Kandesigner

    Thanks for the Lomo tutorial. I found it extremely useful.

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  13. Paul Worpole

    Brailliant /Excellent tutorial – great pace and explanation -Thanks so much!

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  14. Anonymous

    Best Lomo tutorial & explanation I’ve found. Well done.

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  15. Guest

    Just awesome. Thank you.

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  16. Oakes11

    thank you great help….i followed your tutorial whilst edit my image and it looks so good

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  17. Jamesbern10

    Thanks for the tutorial I learner a lot about lomography.

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  18. Sourav Karanjai

    nice,i like it………….:)

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  19. lomophotos

    Very good information, love the lomo look and glad I can create it on digital!

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  20. Chris

    Great Tutorial!!

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  21. Maxbizley

    Nice but I went through it step by step (twice) making an Action and the action doesn’t work, it misses something, I can’t put my finger on it, but the photo comes out blurry, as if it missed the last few steps. Any suggestions on this?

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  22. Nantography

    thank you and you are by far one of the best guide. Keep up the good work

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  23. F_a93200

    i dont kno how to use :( 

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  24. da man


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  25. Mo

    its really great! thank you

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  26. Je2p

    Terima Kasih……. (Thank You, in Indonesia ;> )

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  27. Gilberto ACI – ACE

    Great but cant open the cr2 source file in PSD CS5 on my mac

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  28. Cécile

    Nice tutorial, but pleeeaaaase speak slower and articulate!!!

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  29. artfrankmiami

    Cross Processing is cross processing. isn’t a lomo a camera with a twin lens that shoots 120 and is mostly soft and light leaky? renaming CP as Lomo is wrong. Blurry cross processing, OK, call it Lomo.

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    • WHvan

      a lomo camera is one that shoots in the lomo style ie. the holga, the lca, the diana and so on. It doesn’t necessarily have a twin lens. Most twin lens cameras can provide incredibly sharp and detailed 120 photos.

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  30. Helen Bradley

    Nice tutorial, I like the concept of dissecting a Lomo image and then applying the same effects to your image.

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  31. Laura

    Thanks!  I nice tutorial!

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  32. Andreas

    Control + Shift + E

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  33. Mike

    Really great tutorial, easy to understand and follow! thanks allot 

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  34. Женя Денисов

    Love lomo? Buy lomo cameras.

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  35. Laura L. Leatherwood

    I loved the tutorial.  Thank you so much.

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  36. capnb

    yeeeah, assume I have a modern camera or two since I’m looking at photoshop threads … :P

    anyhow, there are new Holgas and a couple of the cheaper Lomos for well under $100, plus old plastic cameras of various makes on ebay for less … 

    even Urban Outfitters sells them at fairly reasonable prices

    and not sure where you buy film, but $4-5 roll is about standard for basic 120 or 35mm film …

    sure it’s an extra investment, but many photographers pick this stuff up for fun anyway – often at yard sales …

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    • Anonymous

      “not sure where you buy film, but $4-5 roll is about standard for basic 120”
      Now get it developed and realize that you’re both wrong and a douche.

      Really, I thought the whole “just use film, dude” comments went out of style around 2003.

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    • capnb

      ad hominem attacks? really? and reading comprehension failure too … how sad …

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  37. Payam Jirsa

    Those camera’s aren’t that cheap amigo ($280 for the Lomo LC-A), neither is the film ($10+ a roll). Not to mention, you may not want every single picture you shoot to be a lo-fi Lomo image. Just sayin… =) 

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  38. capnb

    cool … but rather than a like 20 step photoshop procedure, wouldn’t it be easier to buy a cheap plastic camera, take pics, then scan in the negatives?

    just sayin’ is all …


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    • Payam Jirsa

      Those camera’s aren’t that cheap amigo ($280 for the Lomo LC-A), neither is the film ($10+ a roll). Not to mention, you may not want every single picture you shoot to be a lo-fi Lomo image. Just sayin… =)

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    • Cpenarsky

      And you can just do the “20 step photoshop procedure” once and save it as a macro. As long as you used layers and don’t actually merge them like done in the video, you can adjust any part of it after you apply the macro.

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  42. Johnny

    Incredible tutorial, everyone who likes Lomo photography needs to see this. The image I used came out as a flawless Lomo replica. Thank you so much guys, keep it up!

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