How to Make Your Own Dust and Grain Filters

Looking to add some vintage dust and grain look to your freshly taken digital photos? You know, that look when you come across some old polaroids or 4x6 prints that you dug up from an old photo album that's been packed away in some box… or possibly scrounged from your parents? Yeah, that look of slight imperfections where the ink has been scratched along with some dust that's hard to remove.  

You can add that old semi-vintage look to your new photos with custom dust and grain filter to overlay on top of your works in Adobe Photoshop. It’s fairly simple to do and as long as you have access to a flatbed scanner, you can create your own in a matter of minutes. Coming from Lucy Martin, she walks through the entire process from gathering the required “materials” to create the final filter which can be layered on top of any photo. (Warning, it may involve some cleaning.) While you are at it, you can also move the materials around on the scanner for a few variations of the filter and store them in a folder on your computer, or if you are an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber you can add them to your library so you have easy access to drag and drop them in any photo. 

Now, this look may not be for everyone, so if it’s not for you I am not sure why you have made it this far. Either way, if this is something you are interested in doing, it’s really simple to do and Martin shows how you can create your own in a short period of time. Once you are done, make sure to clean your scanner well as you don’t want your custom dust and grain filter embedded in your next scan… which is another way to add this look to photos if you want to print them and then scan them. Creating the filters is simpler and you can control where and how you want the filters applied to your work.

Have you created your own custom dust and scratch filters before? Post examples of your work where you used them below, if not try it out and share with us your results.

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1 Comment

Oleh Brevus's picture

maybe smb will need that filted....personally me not) but it was funny when she threw dust on her scanner))))