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Create realistic light leaks in Photoshop

How to create realistic light leaks in Photoshop

Digital photography is crisp, clean and overall much more consistent than analogue photography. This is great for the most part, but like most things digital results can quickly become too perfect. Relive the unpredictable nature of film photography and add a stylish retro effect to your shots by creating realistic light leaks in Photoshop. Here’s how it’s done…

Light leaks, or film fogging, was  created when light was leaked onto unprocessed film. This could have occurred when the back of the camera was accidentally opened for a brief moment, or when a film canister was damaged. The result looked like scorch marks on the image when prints were made, and overall contrast was often reduced.

No two light leaks were ever the same, and while back in the days of film photography it was considered a huge mistake. These days creating fake light leaks in Photoshop has become a popular technique. There are many different ways to create the effect, but none are quite as realistic as this method.

 

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About James Abbott (4 Articles)
James Abbott is an award-winning editorial, advertising and commercial photographer based near Cambridge, UK. He also works as a freelance journalist and is a qualified photography lecturer. He has taught professional photography and Photoshop techniques to both beginners and advanced photographers.

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