Posted on | August 29, 2012 | 24 Comments
I thought I’d share a fun and quick little tutorial today. I have been asked quite a few times how I process my photos and how I do black & white conversions (which is really flattering- thank you!). I also know that very few people actually have Photoshop, so I wanted to share some of my steps but do so in a way that would benefit everyone.
I was super sad when Picnik closed. It made easy tweaks and edits accessible for everyone and I was sad to see it go. Luckily for everyone a new site called PicMonkey followed in its footsteps and dare I say it’s even better (it really is). PicMonkey is totally free so all you need is an internet connection (I hate that I have to say this, but I’m in no way affiliated with PicMonkey. I just think it’s a great tool). I played around in PicMonkey to mimic the things I do in Photoshop to create that matte “film” look that is pretty popular these days. It is super easy!
Here is the photo straight out of the camera:
After you upload your photo to PicMonkey, you’re gonna click on the little beaker on the left for Effects. There are lots of pretty cool edits here you can play around with. To make your photo matte after you’ve done any other edits you’d like, scroll down to Curves.
Click on Curves and you’ll now see a grid. You’ll need to anchor the points of your line, so click on each point of the line like in the next photo. This will keep everything the same (if you feel like playing though, bump those points around to see how it makes your photo lighter, darker, etc). Sidenote: If you like what you see when you move the points around, simply hit apply so it saves, then re-open Curves again to do the matte step.
After your 3 points are anchored, simply pull up on the bottom left corner. As you pull up you’ll see the dark parts of your photo becoming flatter. How much you do is totally up to you. I like to just do a little bit, but play around – some photos look great with a lot of this effect.
Easy right? Making a black and white version is easy, too. Here’s a quick B&W conversion using only Picmonkey. Upload your photo and head to the Basic Edits (top button on the left hand side). I’ll do a photo of Harper and the same pony. Under Colors, pull the Saturation bar all the way to the left to remove all of the color, hit apply.
Next click on Sharpen. Pull the Clarify bar to the right until you’re happy. This step isn’t for everyone, but I like the way it makes the shadows darker and makes the photo sharper before I make it matte.
Another tip: If you have an Android like I do and feel jealous of the iPhone users who have the VSCO cam app, download an app that lets you adjust curves (I use this one) and you can make your phone pictures matte by doing this same thing there.