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New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Posted by on February 16, 2014

New photo to old with plug-ins is my favored way of altering a photo. Next time I’ll demonstrate how to do it from PSP. But for now onto making that photo look antique.

I used the following plug-in and textures, just click on them to be taken to site:

VirtualPhotographer by Optikverve Labs (a free plug-in)

Scratch and Frame Box Overlays by Shadowhouse Creations. Free textures and overlays. Please note this is a large psd file. All of the scratches and overlays are on separate layers within the file.

Andrea Gold’s Photo Intensity Textures #01 which I purchased from GoDigital Scrapbooking.

Following the tutorial will be a list of other sites where overlays and textures can be obtained. I have not used any of the other plug-ins so cannot tell you how good they are. Also most require that you purchase it. I have indicated if it is a free product.

First start with opening your photo of choice and duplicate it (control+d). Close the original

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins


Make the necessary corrections to the photo, i.e. curves, levels, make-over, etc. Then duplicate the layer (Layers>Duplicate or right click on layer and chose duplicate).

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins


Make sure top layer is chosen and run VirtualPhotographer. I chose Black and White with the parchment preset. But they have over 200 presets to choose from so go ahead and experiment. You can even make your own and save them. Reduce the opacity. I think I went about 80%. Then merge.

Add new layer.

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Virtual Photographer with layer opacity reduced

Open Scratch and Frame Box Overlays. Click on the scratches layer you want to use (I chose Scratches 1). Select all (Control+a) and copy (control+c).

Return to your image and on the new blank layer, select all (control+a) then paste into selection (edit>paste into selection or control+shift+l).

On layers palette change blending mode. I usually stick with multipy, overlay, soft light and burn; but do try out the others as you may find one that works better for you. Here I used overlay with an opacity of 100%.

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Scratches added

OPTIONAL: Add another layer and repeat from “Open Scratch and Frame…”; instead add a textured overlay instead of scratches (or chose a different scratch overlay). I used one from Andrea Gold’s Photo Intensity Textures #01. I changed the blend mode to multiply and opacity to 38%.

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Texture added


Apply a selective focus (Photo Effects>Selective Focus)

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Selective Focus

Apply a vignette (Photo Effects>Vignette)

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins


Apply daguerreotype frame (Image>Picture Frame>Daguerreotype>

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Daguerreotype frame

If you have an older version of PSP you can also find a photobook type frame.

New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

Photobook frame

Plug-in Links:

Alien Skin Exposure 5 plug-in

Imagenoic Realgrain plug-in

Mister Retro Machine Wash Deluxe plug-in (adds scratches as well)

Red Giant Vintage Film for Looks

onOne Software Perfect Effects 4 Free plug-in (free)

Overlay/Texture Links:

Insight Designs (free)

D Sharon Pruitt aka Pink Sherbert Photography free textures for layers

123RF overlay stock photos and images (free)

Now that you have a start, what effects can you achieve on your aged photos?

51 Responses to New Photo to Old with Plug-ins

  1. Val @ Love My DIY Home

    I love to tweek photos – I use Photoshop mostly. I lean toward desaturating and black and white, as well as just plain fixing a photo to make it more professional looking. It’s amazing to see what can be done to a photo.

    • tink

      If you are photoshop user, I think you will love what you can do with VirtualPhotographer. With over 200 styles to choose from you will never be at a loose for something to use. One thing I did not mention in this post is that you can select just a portion of your photo with a selection tool and then run VP. Only the part selection will have the style applied to it.

  2. Megin

    What a great tutorial. Unfortunately, I do not have word press. I use Picmonkey or PSP occasionally for my photo editing. I’m toying with the idea of moving my blog to WordPress. I will pin this to my Pinterest board for later use.
    ~ Megin of VMG206

    • tink

      Megin, VirtualPhotographer is a plug-in loaded into programs like Photoshop and Paintshop Pro. In PSP you need to download it to the Plug-ins folder and then it will show up under the Effects tab.

  3. Natalie

    I love messing around with my photos in Photoshop or (for a quick fix) Picmonkey. It’s amazing the fun things that we can do with digital photos! :)

    • tink

      You will have to let me know if Picmonkey accepts 3rd party plug-ins. Virtual Photographer was created for Photoshop, but also will work in just about any editing software that accepts 3rd party plug-ins.

  4. Crystal Green

    Those are some pretty cool changes to these photos. I think it’s neat that we have plugins to choose from to make these changes within our dashboards. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. Liz Lewis

    I am so glad you shared a free plugin to use–this is really helpful! I don’t currently own Photoshop, so I’m always looking for free ways to edit/make my photos better or add fun elements. If you have an iPhone, I love the Studio app…it has a cool feature where you can add multiple layers. Thank you for lending your expertise!

  6. Pam

    Very cool – I never thought about doing this, but I can see some pretty cool projects in the works!

  7. Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    Good to know! Thank you for this!!!!

  8. Becky L.

    A post after my own heart! I love playing with my photos and it’s fun to see how you’ve used the effects to change the style of your image. I used to complain about my camera all the time but now that I’m learning more about photo editing it’s not a big deal.

  9. Ashley @ Simply Designing

    I’ve never heard of that photo editing software but it looks like it does some really neat things!!!

    • tink

      It’s not really an editing software but a plug-in that you download to your editing software (if it allows plug-ins) to help alter your photos.

  10. Shirley @Intelligent Domestications

    I have only recently discovered PicMonkey which I love! It is a lot of fun to edit pictures and make nice changes. You skills are much more advanced than mine. I appreciate the learning opportunity.

  11. Tonia

    Cool effects! I like to play around with photos – I use PicMonkey most of the time.

  12. Debt Free Divas

    I like the Vingette! Great tutorial. I can use this info on my site.

  13. Angie Young

    Wow this is cool! Will have to try some of these. I have a few photos that I think would be really cool to antique like you have.

  14. Tamara

    Really neat effect. You definitely made it look like it was an old picture. Amazing what can be done these days with PhotoShop and similar programs.

  15. mmousaw

    Great post! Awesome how you can do that… I need to follow you some more so that I can do neat stuff like that. Glad I found your blog.

  16. Jen Bradley

    I really struggle with understanding photo editing. I use Photoshop minimally but this looks nice and easy. I’m a little confused though. Is this something I could use with my WordPress blog? From the other comments it seems so. Do I just download the Plugin and it works within the site? Or do I edit the picture before I download it into WordPress? Thanks for your help!

    • tink

      Good question. Virtual Photographer is a plug-in that is downloaded to your editing software’s plug-in folder. I know it works in Photoshop, Elements and Paintshop Pro; but am not certain about what others it may work in. Once it is in your software’s folder (the read-me in VP tells you where to put it in Photoshop if that is what you are using; Paintshop Pro has a Plug-in folder), you open the editing program and it should appear under the effects tab. The picture should be edited before uploading to Word Press.
      I hope this answers your question, but if not, let me know and I will try to be more specific.

  17. Marcia @ Blogitudes

    I love hearing about and discovering new plug-ins to try out. Thank you for this excellent tutorial and suggestion! I’ll definitely be checking it out! 😀

  18. Sarah Barker (@sarahsfare)

    Thanks for sharing such a great plug-in and how to use it!

    Sarah’s Fare recently posted → Eggs in a Nest

  19. tink

    Bug, you did good with setting this site up and rather proud of this post if I do say so myself. LOL

    • vwbug

      You did a fantastic job on this post. It really made it easy for me and I appreciate it! And Yep… I do like what I did to get this site going. Thanks!

  20. HilLesha

    I have never heard of these plug-ins, but that is pretty neat! I mostly use Picmonkey or Adobe Lightroom.

  21. Lalia @ Found Frolicking

    This is a great tutorial for people new to photo editing! I was fortunate enough to grow up with a graphic designer for a mother, so I’ve been using Photoshop since I was about 8 years old. It’s incredible the things you can do with it. Although I rarely use them, it’s always great to have effects and textures that you can add to your photos! Thank you so much for telling me to VirtualPhotographer! The finished product looks so different, but it definitely looks nice. It has an old-fashioned antique look to it!

  22. Mommy Maleta

    I have so much to learn about photos & special effects. Thx for the tutorial!

  23. Kemi Quinn

    I need all the photoshop help I can get. Thank you for the great ideas!

  24. Tanya

    I haven’t heard of these. I love the different effects on the picture. I’ll have to refer back to this when I move over to WordPress.

  25. Johnnalynn Lynch

    Oh Wow, that looks awesome! I think old pictures have so much character! I’ll have to try this out on one of my mom and dad’s recent photos! Thanks for sharing!

  26. stacey

    I didn’t know about these photo plugins. I will have to look further into it since I’m an avid scrapbooker. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  27. Lisa {Amateur Nester}

    I’m not a scrap-booker, but this might be useful for tweaking pics for my blog. Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Blogelina Commentathon.

  28. Jaclyn

    What a great tutorial! The pictures illustrated the changes perfectly! Thanks for sharing- great job and great blog!

  29. Katherine Petrunia

    I love everything we can do with photo editing software now. I’ve used Photoshop and really enjoy the differences you can make and completely transform an image. I think you did a great job explaining the steps and process. Very user friendly tutorial.

  30. Jennifer

    This is super. Thanks for sharing theses tips. I am always looking for new ways to enhance my photos.

  31. Nicole

    This is a really cool plug in–I think I definitely want to check it out with my wordpress site–I’ve used other programs (Photoshop and the like, as well as online photo editing, but haven’t tried the one you mentioned).

    Now, when you edit these pictures, do you ever print them out?

  32. Jennifer at Purposeful Nutrition

    That is pretty neat what can be done. I will keep it in mind. I find photos is the weakest link of my blogging in terms of what I do with them. Just finally using Pic Monkey more regularly. But I might just get to using something like this as well.

  33. Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

    What fun and great tips. I usually do my photo touching in iPhoto or PicMonkey — sometimes it just seems easier that way.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  34. Kyisha

    Nice. That was interesting.

  35. Kyisha

    This is a nice how-to.

  36. Annette Browning

    That’s so cool! I haven’t played around with any of the special effects. I love how your photo turned out.

  37. Jessi Fearon (@TheBudgetMama)

    I love it! Thank you so much for sharing where you got your plug ins! :)

  38. Jessie

    I’ve done the reverse effects to make an old picture for my nan new, but I’ve never made a new picture old. This is really cool actually! :)

  39. Marisa Slusarcyk

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I will definitely be trying it out!

  40. Faith Still

    I don’t know anything about photography or digital editing. Interesting article.

  41. Michelle @ Moms Are Frugal

    I am new to photo editing, and photography. Your pictures turned out great.

  42. Nikki

    Great tutorial! Your photo turned out beautiful!

  43. Always Reiding

    Very interesting, will be looking these plugins up!

  44. Taralyn

    Thanks for sharing the free plug-in! I have so much to learn about editing photos!