Sometimes you don't want your photographs to look too good; a little imperfection can add to a shot's charm, and this vintage light leak action is one way to achieve that effect. Send it into action and you can turn any top-end DSLR shot into something that looks like it was taken on an antique camera.
Cross-processing is a traditional photographic technique involving deliberate processing of one type of film in a chemical solution intended for another, resulting in oddly skewed colours and increased contrast and saturation. This free Photoshop action gives you a way to recreate the effect digitally, and is available free for personal use.
20. Cross Processed
This action adds drama and vivid colour effects to your images by deepening shadows and making colours more saturated. It’s especially good for stormy skies, landscapes, buildings and ocean scenes.
21. Color 024
Digital pictures are crisp and precise, but sometimes they can lack that nostalgic glow of a film photograph. By downloading this free action, you can adjust the colour saturation and create rich, sun-bleached photos that still retain a high level of detail.
Recreate the look of 2-strip Technicolor film by downloading this free action. Popular in the 20s and 30s, 2-strip technicolor film exposed black and white film behind a green filter and a red filter. By merging the green and blue channels in different layers, this action simulates the 2-strip look without damaging the original image.
23. Light Leaks
This handy selection of light leaks has been created using gradients, making it very flexible for adding non-destructive vintage effects to your images. The free version includes five high-quality leaks, all featuring support for 16-bit colour so you can achieve brighter-than-white highlights. And they work with video, too!
24. Hard Lomo
Deviant Art is a great place to find Photoshop actions, as this example from BlackLaceStock demonstrates. Included here is a set of actions that add a classic lomo-look to your images, akin to applying an Instagram effect.
Chris Spooner is well known for his excellent Photoshop tutorials and giveaways, and he doesn’t disappoint with this new selection of 10 free retro-style Photoshop actions. Each of the effects is inspired by 35mm film and processing techniques, and includes some lovely gritty options as well as colour treatments.
Turn any image into a Polaroid instantly with one of 10 different effects. It includes colour treatments and shadows automatically, and it's one of those Photoshop actions you'll use again and again.
Featuring some impressive retro Photoshop actions, plus a kit of light leaks and some vintage Photoshop brushes, the Mini Collection from FilterGrade is a free taster of its larger $49 FilterGrade bundle.
28. Old Photo
Want to make your images look like they've through a time warp? Then get experimenting with this old photo action, which adds colour and contrast.
Desaturate the colour in your photography with this portrait action, which creates a gorgeous vintage effect.
30. Split Toning
The area between greyscale and colour is split toning, and adding this slight change to your photos can have a dramatic effect. You can also create retro and abstract images with this technique.
Create an instant action movie-style colour treatment with a blue-green cast, rich saturation and increased contrast.
If you're after a vintage effect for your photography but you're not entirely sure what, nab this collection from DeviantArt user Yeonseb. It contains 14 assorted vintage actions, so you're bound to find something to your liking.
33. Thinking of You
This is another stylised photographic treatment that adds a filmic, green-cast and heavily saturated shadow effect. The end result feels very fashion-orientated.
This simple action creates a beautiful blockbuster film look, heightening details in your photographs and increasing contrast, while introducing a blue/green tint.
This simple filter give your photos a tinted, washed-out look with an extra neon touch that'll turn lowlights into colourful highlights.
This set of actions creates Hipstamatic-style images inside Photoshop. The download includes three actions, each of which creates a recognisable treatment including borders and noise.