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Gritty Photo Adjustment

Photoshop Tutorial by Björgvin Guðmundsson


I'm going to show you some functions and tricks on how to change a normal photograph into something more.



Step 1.

Start by finding a photo to work on. I used a picture I shot of my mate some weeks ago.
Crop it down and re-size it to fit your needs. Feel free to use my image.

Step 2.

Go to Image>Adjustments>Curves (Ctrl+M) and play around with the settings.

My settings:
- Input: 129
- Output: 18

It's very important that you try different settings, because the image you are using can be darker, or lighter than the one I used.

When you have found the right settings click OK.

Step 3.

Now we go to Image>Adjustments>Levels (Ctrl+L).
The results we want to archive here pretty much depend on what you want the image to look like.

But be careful, too much or too little can destroy the image....

This is how the image looks at this point.

Step 4.

Now duplicate your layer and set the layer mode to "multiply" and the layer opacity to 68%

Step 5.

Now we need to tone the bright colors down a bit to adjust the balance of the image.

Make a new layer and place it at the top and fill it with a dark brown color (#736357)
Set the layer mode to "color" and the opacity to 39%

Step 6.

And now the eyes, we need to do something to them.
Make a new layer and place it below the last one you made.
Select a dark-red color and the airbrush tool. Pick a small brush; I used "hard round 3 pixels".
Now color over the white area of the eyes and then set the layer mode to "lighten".

Now the image should look like this:

I made a border using some various grunge brushes:

I hope you learned something new, just remember to experiment with all the settings and layer modes.