3. CONVERT TO MONOCHROME
I prefer to age black-and-white images because for
me, it’s all about the textures, and I don’t want to
worry about how colors might or might not blend
4. CHOOSE SOME
Do you want a photo that looks just a little worn
and faded, or do you want something that looks
like it fell down a mine shaft 100 years ago? I’ve
obtained good results by superimposing textures
of distressed paper, peeling paint, and the kind of
wall and floor stains that you often find in old
warehouses or industrial sites (see corresponding
textures for Figures E and F).
5. ADD THE TEXTURES
Open each texture photo, choose Select ⇒ All, then
Edit ⇒ Copy, then go back to your primary photo
and Edit ⇒ Paste. Photoshop automatically adds
the texture as a new layer. I used 7 layers to create
this sleepwalker shot (only 5 are shown here).
92 Make: Volume 14
6. SUPERIMPOSE THE LAYERS
To control the way the layers superimpose, look for
the Normal button in the Layers palette. Normal is
the default mode for each layer. Click on it and hold
it down, and you’ll see a list of other options that
determine how each layer will interact with the one
below. For the example here, I used the Lighten,
Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light tools.
This is mostly a matter of trial and error, but here
are two tips:
» Try using Photoshop’s Image ⇒ Invert command
to reverse the colors in your textures, so that
black cracks on a white wall become white cracks
on a black wall. This inverted version will blend
differently with the other layers.
» Use Image ⇒ Adjust ⇒ Brightness/Contrast to
alter the lights and darks of your textures. Push
the contrast way beyond anything you’d do to a
regular photo. A layer that’s only stark black and
white with no grays can create dramatic changes
to the underlying photo.