How to Add Film Effects to Your Photos with a Two Layer Technique

This video tutorial by Denny Tang from Photoshop Tutorials (narrated by Dean Wendt) explains how to use  tone curve and hue/saturation adjustments to make various film effects to add to your photos.

The two-layer technique shown in this video can be used to create nearly any film effect and should also work in Adobe Lightroom, Phase One Capture One, Adobe Premiere and a lot more programs other than Photoshop.

The video starts with an explanation on how to work with a tone curve (it is less complex than you might think if you are not familiar with it and the explanation in this video is one of the best that we have seen to date). After you understand the basic idea of of the tone curve you can do many things especially if you remember that many of the film-like filters used today employ high/low contrast look.

Another thing that you can do is to tint the shadows and highlights. Choose the color balance tool and choose the shadows to add a bit more color (say blue with a little bit more warm) you can do the same thing with the tone curve (by selecting a specific color and working with it just like we did before with the brightness and contrast).

If you play with color as explained in this video we would highly recommend checking out this video on Color Theory In Photography as well as the very useful Adobe website called Adobe Kuler.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section. You can find more useful videos by Tang on this subsection here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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