Lomo Transformation

This is a tutorial on how to make a photo look like it was taken with a Lomo LC-A camera or processed in E6 chemicals used for slide processing. Why you might want to do this is purely for artistic preference, but you can get some interesting effects.

First we start out with an image of our choosing. Here is a fly. I am not going to go through the steps precisely because there is a good and easy to follow tutorial on how to do this from Digital Photography School.

But you can pictorially follow my transformation of the fly and see what changes I made to the settings.

I used the Elliptical Marquee Tool rather than freehanding the selection with the Lasso tool.

I put the little guy in the spotlight with the vignette. I add a levels adjustment layer and move the middle slider to the right to achieve the above pictured vignette. Notice how much more the hydrangea leaf pops.

I flatten the image, then add a Curves adjustment layer. This brings the image additional contrast. I did not exaggerate the contrast though.

I then add a new layer and filled it with black. I lowered the opacity of the black layer to 20% and changed the blending mode to Hue.

Next is sharpening. Or over sharpening is what really occurs. This is where is gets a little different from what you are used to in sharpening, and it is a very useful procedure. The step involves going to Image>Mode>Lab Color, where you must be on a flattened layer. Your image becomes a Black and White by selecting the Channels Palette and deselecting all but the Lightness Channel.

Then you go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask and choose the desired settings.

The tutorial sharpens much more with a radius of 50%. You can also think about modifying the steps to end up with a pretty cool Black and White image.

Return to Modes by going to Image>Mode>RGB Color to get your color image back. Now you have a mock Lomo photo and a much more noticeable fly.

Here is a before and after subject that works much better. But anything with a shine seems to work well, even some flowers. See it done on a Monarda on Garden Walk Garden Talk on the post entitled The Monarda Speaks. As I promised there, I would explain the process here. Go to Digital Photography School for the easy to follow tutorial and the examples on their site. The ordinary orange car is just an image I shot in the Niagara Falls Parks parking lot.


After is much more interesting.


4 thoughts on “Lomo Transformation

  1. I love how we can play with photos and make them look so much more interesting sometimes. At some point I will get back to Photoshop. I used it in the late 90s as a teacher when it first became popular…love the pics and the easily to follow directions

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