Tutorial: Achieve vintage-look collage techniques with Photoshop

Handy tricks to give your images a vintage look.

Here, illustrator Ciara Phelan shows you how to hone your cut-out skills to prepare images for collaging. You’ll also learn some handy tricks to give your images a vintage look.

You will learn how to adjust the contrast and colour levels as well as shifting the channels to create a litho printed effect – a very useful technique to learn as it can be applied to imagery you have sourced yourself, making it appear to be from a 1950s journal.

1_Final_Collagexx_vintage

This gives you flexibility with the images you can use, saving you hours of trawling through old magazines and encyclopedias. This tutorial focuses on transforming the photograph of the stag in the above example, but these techniques have been used on all elements in this artwork.

2_Final_Collagexx_vintage

Step 1

Open the image of the stag in Photoshop. As the stag will be used in a collage you need to isolate it from its surroundings – select the Pen tool, and on the toolbar along the top select Paths. Zoom into the image and use the Pen tool to draw a path around the stag.

3_Final_Collagexx_vintage

Step 2

Once you have created a cutout path select Window > Paths. In the dropdown menu of the path dialog box, click Make Selection. In the box that appears, change the feather radius to 0 and tick New Selection; click OK to create a marquee selection around the image.

4_Final_Collagexx_vintage

Step 3

Now that just the stag is selected, copy and paste it into a new A4 CMYK document, with the resolution set to 300dpi. (Edit > Copy, then File > New, then Edit > Paste, or Cmd/Ctrl + C, Cmd/Ctrl + N, Cmd/Ctrl + V).

5_Final_Collagexx_vintage

Step 4

Vintage imagery tends to have a higher contrast than digital. To create this effect click Image > Adjustments > Curves. Change the curve line from straight to a slight S. This brings out the white and makes the shadows darker. To add more contrast you can also adjust the levels to bring out the black and whites. Select Image > Adjustments > Levels. Slide the arrows inwards to add more contrast.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags adobephotoshop

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ciara Phelan

Digital Arts Magazine
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?