So far in my photoshop tutorials, we’ve covered quite a bit on how to fake the look of an old toy camera, with the Holga, LOMO/X-Pro, and Light Leaks tutorials. These are fun to do, but if you really want to go all the way and to make people think you’re shooting film, you need the proper frame. This is the last (and really most important) step.
Digital cameras trim the edges of your shot (as do a good amount of enlargers) so that you don’t actually see any edges – the image goes all the way to the edge of itself, if that makes any sense. However, if you’re printing any size film yourself in the darkroom, you have the choice of printing without cropping it in the holder. It gives you those cool-looking rough black edges and uneven borders. Well in my usual fashion, today I’ll show you how to fake those edges.
Step 1. Load up the image you want to work with. Press “A+Ctrl” to select the whole canvas. Press “X+Ctrl” to cut your image out.
Step 2. Press “N+Ctrl” to create a new document. At the dialog box, Photoshop automatically enters the size of whatever’s on the clipboard (your image). All you have to do is make sure the background color is set to “White”. Press OK or Enter to create the new document.
Step 3. Press “V+Ctrl” to paste your image from the clipboard into your new image. Press “M” to select the Marquee tool and draw a box that’s almost the size of the whole image, but not quite touching the edge on any side.
Step 4. Use Select > Modify > Feather to round the corners a bit. I set mine at 10, and I’m working with a 700×700 pixel image.
Step 5. Now we use Select > Refine Edge to clean up those corners. I used the settings radius 2, smooth 5, feather about 15, and -5% contract/expand, but these are less important than the contrast, which gets pulled to 100%.
Step 6. With your image layer selected, click Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. We’re in the home stretch now, but we have to add a little dirty black border to make it look right.
Step 8. Create a new layer and drag it underneath your image layer. With the Marquee tool still selected, right click inside the selection and go to “Fill” and fill it with black. Press “D+Ctrl” to deselect.
Step 9. Copy the new layer. With either one of the new layers selected, use Filter > Blur > Radial Blur… on “Spin” at a small amount (I used 2). Select both your new layers by holding Ctrl and left-clicking in the layer pallete, then press “E+Ctrl” to merge them together.
Step 10. Use Edit > Transform > Warp to give it just a tiny bit of a wavy effect, like it’s not quite flat. Try not to let the edges move too far out, and don’t let the edge go in past the image border. You want to see the black outline, you just don’t want the whole thing to be straight, even lines.
And you’re done! If it’s black and white, it’ll look like you printed it yourself in a darkroom… isn’t that fun?