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Build vintage effects with Photoshop plugin Analog Effex Pro

Anyone who likes vintage Photoshop effects (opens in new tab) (and going by the success of Instagram, that’s just about everyone) will find plenty to enjoy in Analog Efex Pro. There’s a whole host of film-inspired imperfections like light leaks, dust and scratches, messy borders, vignettes and blur effects.

01. Choose a preset

Several stock effects are waiting to be used

Several stock effects are waiting to be used

Open an image in Photoshop. Right-click the layer and choose Convert To Smart Object. Go to Filter > Nik Collection > Analog Efex Pro 2. Click OK when the warning shows. Click Classic Camera then experiment with the tool combinations, each of which opens up several presets to play with.

02. Adjust the settings

Settings can be easily adjusted with sliders

Settings can be easily adjusted with sliders

Once you’ve chosen a preset – we picked Vintage Camera 3 here – you can fine-tune the settings on the right. You can also turn off any parts of the effect you dislike by clicking the ticks. We’ve toned down Detail Extraction here. Double-click any individual slider to reset it.

03. Build a camera

Enhance effects with the Camera Kit

Enhance effects with the Camera Kit

Click the top-left button again to access the tools and combinations. Click Camera Kit. This shows all the tools on the left. You can click the plus sign next to any to add them in and enhance your image. We’ve added Dust and Scratches, then tweaked the positioning. Once done, click OK.

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James Paterson is an expert in all aspects of the photographic process, from capture to post-processing. He has contributed to numerous photography publications, including Digital Camera, Amateur Photographer, PhotoPlus and NPhoto, and his work has also appeared in Computer Arts magazine as well as several books. He is the editor of Practical Photoshop magazine, and has a well-deserved reputation as an authority on all things Photoshop-related.