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How To Make Your Photos Look More Like Film In Lightroom

5 Tips To Look More Like Film In Lightroom

How To Make Your Lightroom Edits Look More Like Film

Looking for the secret to making your photos look more film like inside of Lightroom? Or perhaps you’re wondering how photographers get their digital photos to look like film? Today we’re going to look at some easy tricks you can use to make your photos look like they were shot on film, using the develop module in Lightroom.

Look Like Film Tip #1 – Take Your Clarity Down.

Making your photos more like film starts with copying the characteristics of film cameras. Camera lenses have come a long way since “the good old days” – Older film cameras used lenses that were less sharp and had more issues with contrast, flares and fringing. This means to make your photos look more like film, our first step is taking our clarity down a notch or two to copy this effect.


Lightroom Film Tip #2 – Play With The Tone Curves

Old film stocks have many different characteristics, but one of the more noticeable ones is the faded highlights and shadows in old photos. Using our tone curve to pull up the blacks and pull down the white in our images will give it a more faded, vintage effect. One step closer to making your photos look like they were shot on film.


Make Digital Photos Look Like Film Tip #3 – Use The HSL Panel

The HSL panel (Hue, Saturation & Luminance) might be the most powerful color adjustment feature inside of Lightroom – And its a big part of how to make your photos look like they were shot on a film camera. Different film looks call for different adjustments, but one of the keys to start with when making digital photos look like film is desaturating the yellows and the greens. Adjusting the hue to warm them up slightly will also give your photos a more organic feel. By now you’ll be noticing its pretty easy to make your photos look like film inside of lightroom!


Film Look In Lightroom Tip #4 – Camera Calibration Panel

The Camera Calibration Panel isn’t as scary or intimidating as it sounds. Think of it like the HSL panel, but instead of having a range of different colors to choose from, you’re only working with the 3 primary colors in your photos – Red, Green and Blue. These adjustments are powerful – We find tweaking the blues to the left a few degrees towards aqua gives the photos a warm rich feeling that makes your photos feel that much more filmic in Lightroom.


Make Your Photos Like Film Tip #5 – Add Grain

Grain is your friend. Todays cameras are getting to the point of having almost NO grain in their photos. This is a good thing, but also reveals they were shot on digital and not film. If you’re looking for how to make your photos look like they were shot on film, you’re going to want to add some film grain back into the photo inside of Lightroom. Grain is stylistic and will depend on your taste and each photo, however its a key step to adding texture, softness and a timeless look to your photos inside of Lightroom.

And that’s how to give your photos a film look in Lightroom!

If you enjoyed our 5 tips to making your photos look like film, make sure to check out our other tutorials. For a FREE filmic preset pack, head to our store and download now.