One of the coolest things about older cameras and toy cameras (such as holgas, dianas, lubitels and other gems) is that they have an element of unpredictability to them.
If you haven’t shot on a certain camera before, you have no idea if there are going to be holes (usually around the edge of the film) where your film is accidentally exposed to light when it shouldn’t be, causing little colored blurs or white streaks.
Now that I’ve shown you how to fake a holga photograph and how to get that fun toy camera look, I’ll show you how to fake convincing light leaks in your photos. Also, the color will be changeable, since we’re mostly going to be using curves layers. This will also give us a small element of unpredictability and a lot of creative freedom, making it fun! Load up your image and let’s start leaking! (err…)
Step 1. Press “Q” to enter Quickmask mode. Press “D” to ensure black is your foreground color and white is your background color. Press “Backspace+Alt” to fill the entire quickmask area with red, then “X” to switch your foreground color to white.
Step 2. Press “B” for the brush tool, set Hardness to “0″ and the Flow to around “25″. Using a pretty large brush, color in (or un-color, if you will) the corner or edge of the image that you want to be leaky. Press “Q” to exit Quickmask mode.
Step 3. Create a Curves adjustment layer. The selected area will auto-fill the layer mask for the curves layer, so you will be affecting only the corner of your image. Pull the line from the middle, up and almost to the left corner.
Step 4. In the same Curves adjustment layer, select the red channel and pull the line up a good ways. Select the green channel and pull the line down a little, then the blue channel and pull the line down almost as far as you pulled the red one up.
Step 5. Repeat steps 1 and 2, keeping the area you color in the corner just a little bit smaller than last time. Use this to create another Curves adjustment layer. This time, grab the bottom left dot and pull it to the right about one square. Then grab the top right dot and pull it to the right almost two squares.
Step 6. Select orange as your foreground color. Create a new layer, and use your Brush tool to paint orange over your leak-in-progress. Go over the edges just a little bit and make sure to cover the whole thing. When you’re done with this, change the layer mode to “Vivid Light”.
Step 7. Repeat step 6, but with purple instead of orange, and make the purple just a little bit smaller than the orange area. Change the purple layer’s mode to “Vivid Light” as well, when you’re done.
Step 8. Create a new layer. Lower the Flow of your brush tool just a bit, choose white as your foreground color and make your brush big. (Keep the Hardness at “0″ like before.) Paint a big, white patch that’s a bit bigger than your colored area. Don’t be afraid to be a bit sloppy with this. When you’re done, change the mode of this layer to “Overlay”.
Step 9. Bring your brush size down again and create a new layer. This layer is actually going to stay looking white, so carefully paint that white. It will show up on top of all your colored layers, and you want it to basically cover all the middle areas, but leave the edges fading into the colored layers.
Now you have a light leak! It’s fun to play around with moving your layers around individually. A lot of the time there will be hard edges in light leaks, and multiple edges inside leaks with different color values, so don’t be afraid to throw those in (tip – the corner you painted in has two hard edges for your use.)
If you want to move the light leak around as a whole, select all the layers (except for your image layer, usually “background”) and use the Move tool to move them around together. You can also link them once you have them all selected, as well as copy them all at once. Once you’ve copied all these layers, you can use transform (“T+Ctrl”) to squish and move the copied layers as you please.
Next time I’ll show you how to make the other kind of light leak, a colored bar. I’ll also show you how to fake film edges soon.