How to Create a Film Look for Your Photos From Scratch in Lightroom

The film look is currently enjoying a resurgence, and with that have come many preset packs and the like. While some of those are great, practicing how to create the look from scratch is a good way to learn to be a better editor. This helpful video will show you how to do just that.

Coming to you from Evan Ranft, this fun tutorial will show you how to emulate the look of film using just Lightroom, which includes work with the tone curve, color and contrast adjustments, split toning, and adding grain. The great thing about doing this from scratch is that you'll get a better understanding of the different aspects of tonality, color, etc. that create that look, and it'll help you to tweak it to exactly your taste. You can also then save it as your own preset to quickly apply to any photo you please. While Ranft's tutorial will definitely get you to the right spot, remember that at the end of the day, it's purely about your taste, so once you learn and understand how each adjustment contributes to the overall look, play and experiment a bit to find something you really love. 

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11 Comments

Please choose a different photo for the tut. I cannot seem to focus on what you’re saying.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Man, I had a good laugh :-)

David Love's picture

And that is why you will stay right where you are. Watching others work and producing nothing of your own.

Not sure what you mean by that.

David Love's picture

Focus more on the work and not the female anatomy then you might actually be able to add images to your troll account. Clear enough?

you seem very angry. maybe you're trolling me.

Film can look identical to digital. Things like this aren't a "film look", it's an idea of what film looks like.

Michael Holst's picture

That's exactly the point of calling it a "film look".

these edit dont work so well if photos are shot with flash or artificial lighting. eg. indoors or strobe shots... can u edit the same with sample photos taken with a flash/strobe as key light?

Ty June's picture

who's the subject? I can't seem to focus on what you are trying to teach here

darren squires's picture

Thanks for this - I used to do similar things on video, it's been great to revisit the techniques.