Textures for the Vintage Look

Textures are an easy way to give portraits the look of an old, worn, weathered, dirty photograph. One thing I have learned is to use textures that are not coarse - in other words, devoid of large features, as these can get in the way and detract from the model. Here is an example of a boudoir portrait of Andrelica:

 Andrelica retouched.

Andrelica retouched.

Next we will add a texture to the top of the layer stack in Photoshop. This one is called Explorer (Cool), and is from Joel Olives. I really like his textures. He runs a subscription-based "texture club" but this texture was free. It can be found at http://www.joelolives.com/category/freebies/. Notice that the middle of the texture, which is the same space Andrelica occupies, is relatively smooth compared to the border areas. This is exactly what we want:

 Explorer (Cool) from Joel Olives.

Explorer (Cool) from Joel Olives.

The only thing I did to this text was rotate it 90º counter-clockwise and re-sized it to fit over the portrait. I choose not to desaturate it, which is often done. The blend mode was set to Overlay, and a vignette added to the image:

 Final.

Final.

If you find the perfect texture, no masking is needed. Indeed, it did dirty Andrelica's skin just a bit, but that goes with the vintage look, so I did not mask it away. This is an extremely easy and fast technique.