The Lomo effect is an over-saturated photo with high contrast, unique colors and strong vignette. This photo effect first started with the original Lomo LC-A and is still famous. In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a similar photo effect with a saturated and unique style.

Tutorial details and resources

Difficulty: Beginner
Apps Used: Adobe Photoshop
Estimated Completion Time: 10-15′ Minutes
Resources: 1950 Chrysler by Curtis

Step 1 > Open the Image

First, open the image you want to use. For this tutorial, i used the abandoned old car but you can use any image  you like.

lomo effect step 1

Step 2 > Duplicate the Layer

Duplicate the layer and name the new one “Lomo Effect”.

lomo effect step 2

Step 3 > Add Vignette

We need to add a strong vignette and an easy method is to go to Filter > Lens Correction, in the new window select the custom tab and change the Vignette Amount to -100 and Midpoint to 35. Press OK to finish this step.

lomo effect step 3a

add vignette step 3c

Step 4 > Create a Curves Adjustment Layer

To create the Lomo effect we need to adjust the color tones. Press “Create new fill or adjustment layer” button at the bottom of layers palette.

lomo effect step 4

Step 5 > Change Color Tones

For different images, you can use different settings but for this example, i used the following settings:

Add more contrast using RGB channel and make it look similar to my example.

lomo step 4a photoshop tutorial

 

Change the Red channel to look similar to my example.

lomo effect step 4b

 

Change the Green channel to look similar to my example.

lomo effect step 4c

 

Change the Blue channel to look similar to my example.

lomo effect step 4d

Step 6 > Merge Layers

To create similar blurred edges like the original Lomo images we need to use Iris Blur. Before we add iris blur we need to merge the layers. While pressing (Alt Ctrl/CMD Shift) in layers option menu press Merge Visible, this will create a new layer but keep the curves adjustment layer. If this method is difficult, just press (Ctrl + E) to merge the 2 last layers.

lomo effect step 5a

Step 7 > Add Iris Blur

To add iris blur go to Filter > Blur > Iris Blur and use the following settings:

step-7a

 

Add 2px Iris Blur and press OK.

lomo effect photoshop tutorial

Step 8 > Sharpen the Image

Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer to duplicate the existing layer. Next, go to Filter > Other > High Pass. In the new tab set Radius to 2 and press Ok. Finally set the blending mode to “Soft Light”.

lomo effect step 7a

 

Set Radius to 2.0 and press OK.

lomo effect photoshop tutorial

Step 9 > Add Highlight

This step is optional and you can add a highlight by creating a new layer and drawing a soft large brush over the image. Set the brush size to 800 – 900pt and 0 hardness. Draw to the center of the image and set the blending mode to Hard Light or Soft Light.

lomo effect step 8

 

Set the blending mode to Hard Light and opacity to 30%.

lomo effect step 9

Conclusion

The most important step is step number 5. You can change the color tones and achieve different results. The last step when we added the highlight is optional but gives a nice look and creates even more contrast.

abandoned car lomo effect