How to Do Lomography in Photoshop

Thursday, January 12, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 3 Comments

I want to share with you how you can make your pictures look like Lomography photos through Photoshop. How exactly do you make lomography pictures with Photoshop? Well, it’s as if there’s nothing we can’t do with Photoshop – we can even fake Lomography! Lomography has gotten quite a cult following. Of course, not everyone wants to spend a lot of money on a lomography camera, thus this walkthrough.

Below are 20 detailed steps, complete with screenshots, of how to edit your picture on Photoshop to make it look like a Lomography photo. But before that, here are the before and after shots of my picture after I edited it on Photoshop. The picture on the left is what my regular picture looks like, and the one on the right is what it looks like after I edited it on Photoshop to make it look like a lomography picture:


So if you want your regular pic to look like a lomography photo, here are the steps on how to do it on Photoshop.

1. Open your picture file in Photoshop.

2. Use the elliptical marquee tool to make a circle. (You may also want to use the lasso tool to make a less perfect circle – it’s actually better that way.)

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The result is a circular selection. Right click on the selection, then click on “Select inverse”.

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3. Now, click on the “Layer” tab from the menu, select “New Adjustment Layer”, then click on “Levels”.

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4. The above step should create a Levels layer. It will allow you to make a masked layer on top of your original picture. The masked layer is darker than the original picture, and you can adjust the darkness of the selected edges of your picture (remember how you selected the inverse a while ago?). Look at the right side of your screen where the “Adjustments” panel is. Adjust the center arrow as indicated below; adjust it to the right until you get the right amount of edge darkness that you want. (I adjusted mine to about 0.75.) You can also adjust the left arrow, slide it to the right, until you get the darkness you want. (I adjusted mine to 19.)

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5. As you might notice, the darkening appears too sharply in contrast to the “normal” part of the photograph. To fix this, click on the “Masks” panel right beside the “Adjustments” panel. Then, adjust the Feather to about 80.

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6. As you can see, the darkened edges now blend wonderfully into the center of the picture. Next, merge all your layers by clicking on the “Layers” tab on the menu, then choose “Merge All Visible”.

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7. Now, you are working with just one layer. Next, add another layer. Click on the “Layers” tab on the menu, choose the “New Adjustments Layer”, then click on “Curves”.

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8. This should create a “Curves” Layer. Next, on the “Adjustments” panel found on your right, adjust the curve to make it look like a sigmoid curve. (That’s a fancy way of saying it should look like an “S”.) See the screenshot below to see what I did.

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9. Next, it’s time to add another layer to create a lomography type picture on Photoshop. To add a new layer, the keyboard shortcut is “Shift+CTRL+N”.

10. On this new layer, select the “Paint Bucket Tool” on the left side of your screen. Choose the color black from your “Swatches” panel on the right side of your screen. Then, color the new layer with black using your Paint Bucket Tool.

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11. Don’t panic if your picture suddenly looks black; it’s supposed to be that way. Laughing out loud Then, click on the “Layers” panel on the right side of your screen, and right-click on the layer that’s blacked out. Choose “Blending Options”.

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12. On the window that pops up, click on the Blend Mode, then choose “Hue”. Next, adjust the opacity to about 35 to 40 percent.

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13. Now, you’re ready to merge the layers once more. (Click on the “Layers” tab and choose “Merge Visible”.) Next, click on the “Image” tab on the menu, choose “Mode”, then click on “Lab Color”.

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14. Then, go to the “Channels” panel on the right side of your screen, right beside the “Layers” panel. Click on the “Lightness” channel.

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15. Then, click on the “Filter” tab on the menu, go to “Sharpen”, and click on “Unsharp Mask”.

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16. A new window will appear. Adjust the Amount to about 50%,  the Radius to 17.5, and the threshold to 0.

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17. Your photo is still in black and white because you are editing its lightness channel. It’s now time to restore it to its real color. Click on the “Image” tab on the menu, select “Mode”, and click on “RGB color”.

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18. You’re almost done. Next, it’s time to adjust the color. Click on “Image” on the menu, go to “Adjustments”, and select “Color Balance”. This time, adjustments will depend on the picture you have. For instance, for my picture, the following steps are what I would recommend.

  • On the new window that pops up, click on the arrow on the first line (Cyan to Red), and adjust to the right until the color level is at about 50. Then, click on the third line (Yellow to Blue) and adjust it to the left until the color is at 30.
  • Remember, you are now working at the “Midtones” of your picture. Next, click on the “Shadows”. Adjust the arrow on the third line (Yellow to Blue) to the left this time, until the level reaches 10.
  • Lastly, click on the “Highlights”. Adjust the first line (Cyan to Red) to the right until the level reads 15. Adjust the arrow on the third line as well (Yellow to Blue) towards the right until the level reads 20.

19. Click on “Image” on the menu, go to “Adjustments”, and select “Hue/ Saturation”. On the new window that pops up, increase the saturation to about 20 to 40. (This depends on the quality of the picture you’re editing; you can go higher or lower.)

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20. And you’re done! All you have to do now is save your new picture. Again, this is what my finished product looks like:

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Congratulations, you now have a Lomography picture which you made via Photoshop. Hope you liked the walkthrough. And if you have any more tips to improve mine, please leave a comment. You might also want to check my second Lomography tutorial.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. Thanks, Chris! :) I have a few more lomography tutorials for Photoshop - just finishing them and I'll be back to post them soon. :)

  2. Nice Post
    Thanx for sharing
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