MacMost Now 780: Vintage Photo Effects In iPhoto

Posting stylized photos online is very popular today. You can get these effects through apps on your iPhone, but also using filters in iPhoto. See which filters provide the best results and how to adjust them to your liking.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 780: Vintage Photo Effects In iPhoto.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at using vintage photo effect in iPhoto.

So it is very popular now to post photos online and apply filters to make them look like old vintage photographs. The effect can really make a photo come to life. You can do this using lots of apps. Of course of the most popular being Instagram.

But if you have photos in your iPhoto collection on your Mac you can also apply filters in there and get similar effects. Let's take a look.

So first of course select a photo in iPhoto and get the original there. It should have crisp clear color because it is taken with a modern camera and now we want to make it look old. So what you want to do is to go down to the bottom to the Edit button.

Once you are in the Edit mode you have a variety of options here including quick fixes and this will make the picture look even better usually. So you don't want that. You want instead to go to Effects.

Now under Effects we have a variety of different things. Some of which right away show us that we can make things look old. For instance we can click on the antique button here and we get an effect right away that is pretty decent.

If you ever want to undo an effect you can simply hit the Undo button here at the bottom. Also notice when I click on it once I get a 1 at the bottom there and I click on it again and go to 2, 3, 4. And you see that the effect gets more pronounced. I can also use the arrows here at the bottom to go back and forth. So I can go up numbers and down numbers to get kind of the amount of the effect that I want.

You can also combine effects. So for instance I can click here to go 1 with antique and I can add vignette effect there as well. So I can add the combination of the two of them. I can increase each one separately and see what the combination is.

Now you also have these color control buttons here at the top. So if something is very bright and crisp you can darken it. When you click on these basically what you have to do is click on them several times and you can see the effect get darker. You can always click Undo to go back one step or you can always click Revert to Original to erase all of the changes you have made here.

So now it is a matter of coming up with the perfect effect. It is really kind of a subjective thing. You can try adding a few different things. Antique here I will do that 1. I will do an edge blur; I'll do that up to maybe a four or five. That is a little too much there. Let's go down to about three, two. So I get a little bit of blur around the edges to make it look like it was an old camera. Maybe the lens wasn't perfect. Now I can play around with the rest to get the effect I want. A little boost there. Kind of makes the photo look a little bit more washed out. I can try some things and then turn them off if I don't like it. Once I get what I want basically I'm done. The changes are saved automatically.

I can go back to the photo here. I can turn off the effects and go back and see. I can go back into the photo and it has the changes I have made. I can always go back into Edit whenever I want and hit Revert to Original. It will give me a warning this time since I've edited it and then left and then come back in. I can revert and get back to the original.

iPhoto saves the original as well as the modifications.

If you want finer control you can always go into Adjust and into Effects and in here you can really go to town and fine tune the effects here in changes. So there is a lot you can do here. This is for more expert level. Changing the temperature is something that can work to change the look of a photo. Tinting it as well.

Now what I like to do is I would set if for antique 1, an edge blur of 2, and then also add a fade and a boost and for me that creates the kind of effect that I remember older photographs having after they sit around in an album for a while and are taken from a camera say from the seventies.

So what you like may vary. So play around with these. Maybe find your favorite set of settings. Of course it may depend upon the photo itself. Post your favorite sets to this episode at

The great thing about using iPhoto now in Mountain Lion is once you have created your effect you can hit the share button and right from there you can share to Facebook, Flicker, Twitter. Of course you can create shared photo streams as well. So it is easy to share your photos once you have created modifications.

What I really like about doing this in iPhoto instead of an app is I don't have to decide at the time I take the photo what effect I want to use or whether I want to use an effect at all. I can just concentrate on getting good photos, taking lots of them, and then later on go into iPhoto on my Mac and make these modifications. Then I have the original in iPhoto as well as the modification. Of course in a lot of the apps you can do that as well. Save the original as well as the changed version. But it is easier sometimes to focus on the photography and worry about these filters later on.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 780: Vintage Photo Effects In iPhoto”

    Michael Wheless
    6 years ago

    Gary, I appreciated the reminder of the editing features of iPhoto. My son has been using Instagram lately and it was fun to get his images. I did fiddle around using my iPad as well. However, I do prefer to use iPhoto when I can. There are more features and adjustments in iPhoto. Also, the general idea of taking photos now and editing later is so much more appealing. I would be glad to share a sample, but not sure if I should post an image to a set of comments.

    Cyndi Carignan
    6 years ago

    thank you so much Gary… I have an iPhone 3 and Instagram does not support it. I was so bummed. I love the filters and the vintage look on my pictures, I am pleased that you did this video, it was very helpful. Now I can do my images as well.

Comments Closed.