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How to Retro Edit Photos

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Retro photo editing is an exciting photography trend. A variety of photo-editing software packages have options that can make it seem that the photos were taken with more outdated camera models, and perhaps even date back to Victorian era. Add a touch of vintage to your photos with software packages such as Google Picasa 3.9 and PhotoScape.

One of the retro options that most photo editing packages include is black and white (B&W). The early camera models were limited to black and white, so this option is widely included. One advantage of removing the color from a photo are that black shadows can have more impact. If you take a snapshot of a preserved Victorian building, like Osborne House, then you can fool anybody that it was taken during the earlier 20th century with B&W options.

Your camera might have a black-and-white photography option, but you can also make the edit with Picasa 3.9. To add B&W editing to your color photos with Picasa, first select a photograph from your image folder with the software. That should open the Picasa editor, and from here you should select the third tab from the left. Click the B&W option to convert it to a black-and-white image.

Then the photograph will become a black and white one. Another of the retro-editing options that can mimic outdated photos is sepia. Sepia tone is actually a closer match to photographs taken in the early 19th century. You can add it to your photos by selecting Picasa's Sepia option beside B&W.

Consider combining both black and white, or sepia, edits with grain editing. That will add a little grain to the image. Retro photos tend to lack the clarity of more modern ones, and thus are more grainy. To add grain to the photograph with Picasa, click the film grain option that is directly below sepia. Drag the grain bar to the right to add more grain to the photograph, and then select apply.

If you want to keep the color within your photos, consider Picasa's 1960 option. When selected, this option will convert the photo to a 1960's alternative. It adds rounded corners and a warm glow to match photos from the period.

To add this editing to your photograph, select the editor's fourth tab from the left. Then select the 1960's option. You can adjust the image fade by dragging the bar to the left or right. The rounded corners can also be removed if you click the rounded corner check box. Select the Apply option to apply the changes, and your image should then be similar to the one below (which I took myself).

Retro Photo

PhotoScape also has some notable retro image-editing options. Select the editor from its main menu. Then select your photograph folder from the left. Click one of the small image thumbnails below the folders to begin editing.

From the Home tab select Filter and then Antique Photo. Clicking antique photo will bring up a small window with up to several alternative antique photos to select from. Once selected your photo should be a somewhat grubby and stained antique alternative as below (which is also my photo).

Antique Photo

The color of the original photograph can be preserved if you click Original. Another alternative to sepia is Grayscale, which is similar to black and white. Click Ok to add the image editing to the photograph.

Those are a few of the great retro photography editing options that Picasa and PhotoScape include. They are best combined with suitable photo subjects, such as Victorian architecture, antiques, steam trains, etc. With retro subjects from a bygone period the vintage editing is then all the more effective.

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