Dark Lomo Effect

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a processed dark lomo effect in Photoshop. The effect is based on the popular lomography effect that includes vignette burns, blue tones and a high contrast. Here’s the effect we’ll be creating:

Dark Lomo Effect

To create a processed dark lomo effect, you’ll need:

  • Any recent version of Photoshop

Step 1

Open your image in Photoshop.

Dark Lomo Effect Original

Then, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and use the settings shown below. Just clip the highlights to brighten the whites and match the shadows to the histogram graph.

Dark Lomo Effect Levels

Step 2

Next, click on the Adjustment Layer option at the bottom of the layers palette, select Curves from the list that appears and use the settings shown below.

Dark Lomo Effect Curves Red

Dark Lomo Effect Curves Green

Dark Lomo Effect Curves Blue

Step 3

Go to Edit > Select All and then go to Edit > Copy Merged. Paste it onto a new layer above all the other layers and then go to Image > Adjustments > Black & White. Change the layer’s blending mode to Darken and bring down its opacity to about 70%.

Dark Lomo Effect Black & White

Step 4

On a new layer, paste another copy of the image. Select a light and dark purple color for the background and foreground colors, then go to Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map. Change this layer’s opacity to 50% and blending mode to Hard Light to cast a purple color on the picture.

Dark Lomo Effect Gradient Map

Step 5

Create a new layer, fill it with black and change its blending mode to Overlay. Then, add a layer mask to this layer and with a soft, large brush, erase the Overlay effect from the main subjects of the photography, which in this case is the man and bike. This will give a vignette effect to the picture.

Dark Lomo Effect Overlay

On a new layer, paint more black areas with a soft, large brush, especially around the lower corners and the sky. Slightly desaturate this layer by changing its blending mode to Color and lowering its opacity to about 75%.

Dark Lomo Effect Color

Step 6

Finally, duplicate the entire picture once again by first going to Edit > Select All and then going to Edit > Copy Merged. Using the Dodge and Burn Tools, make any adjustments you want to the picture. In my case, I used the Dodge Tool across the man’s face to brighten it up and emphasize the focal point, while the Burn Tool was used on the chroming on the bike, shading of the T-shirt and arms to increase the contrast.

Dark Lomo Effect

And we’re done creating the processed dark lomo effect!