Simulate the colors of Lomography with Photoshop. In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to apply a retro-looking color effect to your photo using all adjustment layers. Find out how to make photos look as if they were taken with a LOMO camera.

Sample PSD (Photoshop Document)

Lomography Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1

Load a photo into Photoshop.


Step 2

To create this effect, we’ll be using three adjustment layer. One to compress the reds, to alter the color, and to create a vignette. Yes, you read that correctly. We’re going to show you how to add a vignette using an adjustment layer! But before we do that, we’ll add an adjustment layer to compress the reds.

If you load a LOMO photo into Photoshop and look at the channels, you’ll notice that the reds are highly compressed (high contrast). To simulate that, we’ll use the Curves tool and add more contrast.

In the Layers palette, add a new Curves adjustment layer.


In the Curves tool, select Red from the channel drop down menu and make a S curve like the image below then click OK. Now we have half the LOMO color effect applied.


Step 3

Now we’re going to add a Color Balance adjustment layer. This will mainly add a slight green tint to the gray areas in the photo. Add a Color Balance adjustment layer.


In the Color balance settings, click on the Shadows option and adjust the settings so that the shadows have a green tint. The settings will be different depending on the white balance in your photo, but the settings in the image below should be a good start to get this effect.


Now we’re going to introduce some yellows to the highlights to create the LOMO skin tones. Click on the Highlights option and use the settings below. Again, you may have to change the settings slightly depending on your photo’s white balance.


Step 4

We have the color effects done, so now all we have to do is add a vignette. Remember earlier when I said I’ll show you how to add a vignette using an adjustment layer? Here’s how: Use a Gradient fill layer.


Use the settings below. You should now have a very soft vignette.


Click on the gradient and move the white opacity slider towards the left. As you move it, the vignette should get harder and further away from the center. If you want to move it more towards the center, move both the black and white opacity sliders towards the middle. There you have it! A fully adjustable vignette.


Here’s what the image looks like before and after adding the vignette. I chose to use one with a very hard edge, but it is up to you to decide which type of vignette you would like to use.


Also, if you change the blending mode to overlay, you can also get a different effect with the vignette. Below is an image comparing the vignette on normal blending mode and overlay blending mode.


Step 5

Finally, you’ll want to group the layers into a group for better organization. Hold the Ctrl key and click on the three adjustment layers. Press Ctrl+G to group the layer. Don’t forget to rename the group to LOMO or Lomography so that you know what effect it is for. Grouping layers is essential when applying multiple effects. It is good practice to always do it so that you don’t have too man unorganized layers when editing a photo.


Final Results

Here are some before and after results of this LOMO Photoshop effect. Note that some of the examples use different settings. You can always go back into the adjustment layers to alter the settings – that’s the power of using adjustment layers.



  1. Sandeep L&T Ltd June 2, 2011
  2. PRiZ April 26, 2011
  3. rick james March 30, 2011
  4. PSDartist February 19, 2011
  5. Joey December 20, 2010
  6. Lauren Clark Photography December 16, 2010
  7. awimarchello December 15, 2010
  8. Ed November 18, 2010
  9. honghu September 11, 2010
  10. Ludovic August 29, 2010

Add Comment

Unlimited Photoshop downloads Join Now
Hello. Add your message here.