Though we can simulate a number of classic photo effects in the Adjustments tab, if we add a mask, we double the chance of success because the mask allows us to multiply and alter any effects we’ve applied to the photo. Try this:
1. Add a photo to a blank slide.
2. Duplicate the photo.
3. Turn the top layer into a grayscale mask. (Photo turns dark, probably too dark.)
4. Change the mask to “Grayscale Inverted.” (Weird.)
5. Select layer 2 in the Adjustments tab, setting White and Black Points to 100%. (Film negative.)
6. Set the mask layer to regular “Grayscale.”
7. Select the mask in the Adjustments tab and set Sharpen to 100%, White Point to 100%, Black Point to -100%, and Contrast to 100%. (Oh my!)
Continue playing, doing anything you want to the layers. Notice how often the mask literally affects the effects.
ADVICE: If you like an effect but want to play some more, duplicate the slide, playing with the copy so you don’t lose the original.
Playing as described above, I created 5 classic photo effects:
Posterize: Simulates a soft wash of color with black ink giving definition.
Photocopy: Harks back to old photocopiers that turned photos into b&w graphics.
Antique Photo: A soft sepia with sharp edges and an optional mask to create torn edges.
Grain: There was no way around it–an extra layer was required for the grain.
Soft Focus: This can’t be properly achieved by just blurring a photo. The result is a blurry photo. By masking the photo, sharpness can be added back in.
All 5 effects are available as a free set of styles called “Classic Photo Styles.” Go to The Frame Locker and click on “Free” at the bottom of the page.
Play with your own layers! Play with the styles you’ve been given! Have fun!