Film Envy

July 22, 2010

Film Grain - photoshop tip

From time to time I like to add a little grain to my photos. Sometimes it’s just to gives it that slight film look…other times it may be to mask digital noise from shooting at a high iso. Here are quick steps to add a little grain to your diet.

Step 1: Open image
isayx3 plainjoe photo blog

Setp 2: Go up to the Filter menu and go to Noise. From from there select “Add Noise”. I have my settings set to Uniform and the Monochromatic checked off. For the % amount this really depends on the size of your image. Since this image is just web resolution I just did 1%. Press OK.

Step 3: There really is no step 3…you are done.

  • Yannick_lw

    Where did you get the film border layer from?

  • alezayas

    great! haha nice and simple.. i love the film thing youve added to the final image, where did you get it?

  • isayx3
  • isayx3
  • Micah Taylor

    Thanks for your post secrets. Keep'em coming. I'd love to see more of your post process specifically how you handle color.

  • isayx3

    That is a hard one to's different for each shot….I will think of something though

  • Dev Only

    Love your tutorials ! Ive been following you on flickr aswell ( not a stalker ) 😛
    Your pictures always look so crisp and with great color. !
    Maybe a guide on The haze and contrast look amazing!

  • isayx3

    I'm planning on doing that one soon

  • Sara

    Ed, I'm so excited to see you've started a blog! I will add you to my blogroll and RSS! So exciting!

  • Martin

    Love your photos and tutorials. Really appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

  • Nic Kim

    Yes I agree with Micah, please more on color post processing!
    If it's different for every shot, just show us what you would do for a specific image. That should help out a lot..

  • theuglyspirit

    Nice indeed. Have you ever tried Exposure 3 or 4 by Alien Skin?

    Only thing is Ektachrome, being a slide film, has no visible grain.

  • Kevin

    Another technique for grain that I've found to work well is (in combination with what you outlined above) filling a layer with 50% gray, adding noise (either monochromatic or desaturated) then blur it by 1-2.5 pixels (depends on the size of the image) and set the layer blend mode to screen. Creates a softer, larger grain.

  • isayx3

    very nice! I'm going to give it a try

  • Sylvia

    I've gone one step crazier and actually gone back to playing with film! However, when using digital I occasionally play with film effects in Color Efex.

  • 羽芯

    LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!!!!

  • Jay

    I think this is the big irony of technology… trying to get that analog film effect on a digital world… it's just weird but it's what we do… and on the note of adding grain… I used to do it the way Kevin mentioned here but now I mostly use Lightroom 3 for that effect… that is if ever I do find the need for it.

    Great work here Ed!


  • mohan37

    wow, why am I only finding this now?!

  • Eric Wideman

    keep it up!!