How to Make New Pictures Look Old

by Contributor

While glossy color pictures have many advantages over their black-and-white or sepia predecessors, older pictures somehow have a classier look. With a simple image editing software application, you can make new pictures look like they were taken before the age of digital cameras and color photography.

Select pictures that look like they could have been taken in a former time period. Old buildings make good subjects. However, make sure to crop out details giving away the picture as new, such as cars. If you want to convert a portrait, choose one where the person is dressed in clothes which look like they could have been worn at a former time period.

Open an image editing program and load the picture. Adobe Photoshop works well for this purpose, but you do not need an advanced program. Most simple image editors work fine.

Look for the "Hue/Saturation" settings in the image editor. Look first under the "Image" menu if your program has one. If you can't find it, search the program's help topics.

Adjust the hue slider downward. This should give the picture a sepia effect like an old picture. Adjust the saturation slider as you see fit. You can leave it alone or move it up or down depending on what makes the picture look the best.

Check to see if your image editor has a filter menu. If so, look for a "grain" or "noise" filter. If you see these, apply them. This gives the new picture a lower- quality look common to old pictures.


  • check If you want to try a more advanced technique, soften the edge of the picture with the eraser tool. This finishing touch makes the new picture look like an old print. It may take several attempts to make the edge effect look authentic, however.