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Hugo! 1:48pm, 16 January 2005
I came across this post about faking the lomo effect on kottke.org the other day and found the results really pleasing.

The tutorial is quite easy to follow and follows these simple steps:

1.File: Open: the picture you want

2.Image: Adjustments: Brightness/Contrast: increase contrast by 20

3.Image: Adjustments: Hue/Saturation: increase saturation by 20

4.Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool (your basic selection tool)

5.Change feather amount to 1/12 the width of your picture (if your picture is 600px wide then you will set your feather to 50px)

6.Select your entire picture note: using select: all, will not work

7.Select: Inverse

8.Layer: New: Layer

9.Change your primary color to black. Fill the selection (on the new, blank layer).

10.Change the blend mode of this layer to Overlay

11.Layer: Duplicate Layer

12.Now select your base layer (the one with the picture on it).

13.Layer: New: Layer

14.Change your fill tool to Gradient

15.Change your Gradient Type to Spherical

16.Change your Gradient Shading Style to "foreground to transparent" (I believe this is the default).

17.Change your primary color to white.

18.With the fill tool selected, click in the middle of the picture, and drag the line out to the farthest edge of your picture (if it's a portrait, use top or bottom, if landscape, use left or right).

19.Change the blend mode of this layer to Overlay

20.Change the Opacity of this layer to 80% (or whatever you see fit)

Personally I find that skipping the whole first layer bit (steps 4 to 10) the effect is very similar. Maybe someone can explain to me what difference it's supposed to make.

Anyway here are some of the results:

casa en barcelona

and another one for the squared circle group

squared circle

and a last one



[tags: manipulation]
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ocherdraco PRO 13 years ago
Aha! I love this—lomos take the most beautiful photos, but I don't have the cash to shell out for one.

Here's a comparison of the shot I played with, pre-lomodification left, and after, right.

Chuck in front of the Harvard Bookstore lomodified

I played around with things a little (though the lomodified shot that I posted followed the tutorial to the letter), and did things like take out the black overlay layer. Doing that takes away the distinctive lomo shadow (see the black creeping in from the corners?). I think increasing the feather would make the shadow more apparent; right now I don't think the technique emulates that quite right.
s2art PRO 13 years ago
here's my attempt, I went for the jugular so to speak as to my mind the lomo look is not subtle
pseudo lomo @ bot
Here are a couple of my attempts...

For this last pic I didn't use those directions, just playing around with photoshop till i got close to what i wanted...unfortunately I didn't pay attention to what I was doing and closed PS before I could take a look at the history!

Jasonaut PRO 13 years ago
Pretty cool ...
bret and adrienne
B and A Lomofied
hansneumann 13 years ago
Can anyone tell me what exactly a lomo camera do? on what is different from a common pro film camera?
Nachosan 13 years ago
I wrote a small tutorial on how I go about it using several textures overlayed on each other
My understanding is that a lomo camera is a wide angled camera with a somewhat characteristic over-exposure which leaves the photos saturated with colours, and also performs well under low light conditions. It also has a bit of a tunneling effect - the edges of the photos are characteristically darker...

It was originally a KGB spy camera and now is a bit of a pop culture icon. You can check out the lomo group for some examples
Hugo! 13 years ago
Wow! Nice tutorial, thanks!
Nachosan 13 years ago
PS. you can also find the textures I use on my page
carlosj 13 years ago
This is great. Thanks Nacho.
anytime carlos and hugo!
andyaldridge 13 years ago
OK - I know nothing of "Lomo" excpet what I've read here (and from the links I've followed) but I must admit I like the colourful contrasty pictures - so I took a shot at a few of my own.

For this one - having roughly followed the tutorial I decided that it might look better if the background was blurred to give the effect of the camera moving with the swing. I duplicated the image layer applied a motion blur and then erased Adam and the swing from the blurred layer. I'm not totally sure it worked as planned but I do quite like the effect...

Adam on a swing in Bunny Park August 2000

I must admit that this group has made me think a little bit about how I can make my pictures a bit more effective (and I have fun with it).
beanfoto2 13 years ago
Lomo = cheap eccentrically designed Russian camera whose lens has won it many fans, for the wrong reasons. Pix taken with it are eaily distinguishable with their high contrast, disortions, edge blur and shadowing. All of which combine to produce pixs that, at their best have a cult following.
Probably not made anymore, but I'm on the lookout for a 2nd hand one, ( here in China?)
Nomine UK [deleted] 13 years ago
There are several models of Lomo still being made - take a look at shop.lomography.com/shop/ which has lists of retail shops across the world (including China) as well as online ordering.

For general Lomo info, pictures, events, news etc visit the Lomographic Society International
viewerblur [deleted]
I just wanted to thank you for sharing this Hugo. I had a great time trying this out yesterday with some great results. I didn't go all the way with the blackened edges, but the technique you shared here got me quite a ways into this:

Aztec Detail
Nice contrast of colours viewerblur!

Also, if you feel like trying out the "real" lomo effect, I suggest getting a Holga. It's a very cheap medium format camera and quite a lot of fun. You can get it from the link Nomine UK posted, or from Holgamods for example (have a look at the gallery to get an idea)
bradleyjames [deleted] 13 years ago
Thanks a lot for posting this technique. I really appreciate it. Here's my attempt.

stuandgravy PRO 13 years ago
This is a great tutorial with some neat techniques. The overlay vignette is useful even for less 'stylised' photos.

I tried out the full Lomo here:

Holden Speedster Holden Speedster
I think at least half, if not more, of getting a good lomo effect is the way that you take the picture. Grabbing something in a happhazard, poorly framed manner seems to make lomo pictures look cooler.

Anyway, I tried out the script in the top post and found it was a little too subtle for some of my brighter shots so I came up with a small adjustment for high light: On the Hue/Saturation step, set Hue to -15, Saturation to 55, and Lightness to 12.

I'm pretty satisfied with the result:

Lomo Normal:
Voorhees Computing Center

Lomo High:
Voorhees Computing Center
BenODen 13 years ago
That is cool. How subtle are the actual colors of brick?
DannoHung PRO 13 years ago
Here's the original:
Voorhees Computing Center Entrance
BenODen 13 years ago
Ah, yes, original, but that looks like pretty flat light. You seen it in direct sunlight? I love the color in the Lomo High, it would be cool if that were closer to reality. ;D I know, it's probably not..

Artistry versus reality. All artists are plagued by this dichotomy. *grin* Photographers are often expected to have more reality. I cry foul! Yet I like to know the reality behind the art as well. Oh what a tortured soul I am! *laugh*
DannoHung PRO 13 years ago
You know... I can't recall. Next time I'm over there and it's sunny out I'll get a closer look at the brickwork and a photo too.
Jusbe 13 years ago
Here's my first attempt with this technique. I think the effect is really cool!

Helsinki cathedral
DannoHung PRO 13 years ago
Verra Nice. Is that snow on the steps? Awesome look.

BenODen: Here's a closeup of the brickwork:

Voorhees Brickwork and Window
Jusbe 13 years ago
Yes, it´s snow. It has been snowing quite a lot past couple of days in Helsinki. Hrrr...
Big Papa Fanch PRO Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Big Papa Fanch (member) 13 years ago
For those interested in doing a LOMO effect with "The Gimp" (a wonderful piece of GPL software) I wrote a first version of a Script-Fu (the equivalent of Photoshop actions using the Scheme language). Here is the script and here is an example:
Chairz - LOMO effect

right now it's not perfect, it will work ok with 1600x1200 pictures, I'll modify the script so that it can process any size of image very soon. What do you guys think? I feel like the vignetting effect should be a little more "radial"?
hexodus... PRO 13 years ago
Here is one of mine, using this technique:


there are more under my "lomo" tag:


maybe those will be more appealling. its fun.
DannoHung PRO 13 years ago
Definitley needs to be more radial, also a little less severe on the edge.

hexod.us: I've been putting mine under digilomo to avoid confusion with the actual lomo's.
ocherdraco PRO 13 years ago
The tag I've used is "lomodified."
hexodus... PRO 13 years ago
DannoHung: that seems like a good idea. I had been using "lomo" and "photoshop" together, thinking that it may be possible to make an inference from that.

I wondered what the right thing to do is, since it seems that everyone can coin their own word to describe this lomo effect, and it might be hard to see them all if there are many different terms.

Maybe I will just do all of the above, using "Edit Tag"...
Big Papa Fanch PRO Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Big Papa Fanch (member) 13 years ago
So I came up with a new version of my "LomoFu" script to be used with The Gimp, works 100% with radial blending, I think it still lacks brightness in the details but I'm working on it. What do you think?

2 chairs - LomoFu effect
hexodus... PRO 13 years ago
Big Papa French: that looks much, much better than the other one. Nice improvement. Radial blending looks like it was key here.
BenODen 13 years ago
Thanks for the closeup Danno. I have to say that that'd look really nice in direct sunlight. Cool brick.
DannoHung PRO 13 years ago
That's damn good
Brenda Anderson PRO 13 years ago
I tried your Lomo gimp script and really like the results. Here are the original and the Lomo-ized shots.
Ford Prefect with Girl
Ford Prefect with Girl
Big Papa Fanch PRO Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Big Papa Fanch (member) 13 years ago
Very nice shot! Also I changed the way settings are presented, I think it was quite unclear how the sliders worked. More explanations can be found in the top comments of the script, those interested will find it under the same URL as before.
stepinrazor 13 years ago
I... remember having a PS action that did this. (sure, I'm all about learning new tricks.. but actions have changed the way I do everything).

May still have it around here if anybody wants it.
whatsnext 13 years ago
ah... i think i have to embarrass myself.
i tried this technique and encountered some problem mainly due to my ignorance about PS. i don't know how i can change the primary color to black/white. i don't think that means changing foreground/background color. can somebody help this ignorant amature, please?
ElowahCheyenneSunrise [deleted] 13 years ago
whatsnext: You're spot on, "primary color" would mean the foreground color (the foreground color being the color that the spill (or fill) tool will produce).
ElowahCheyenneSunrise [deleted] 13 years ago
While I'm here, here's my try at this technique, I was quite pleased with the result.

Sara and The Cherry Tree

Fake Lomo Experiement
DWinton PRO 13 years ago
btw for a slightly different effect, change the primary colors to strong darks/lights that are already in the photo, i.e. a really dark brown or blue instead of black, a really light cream or peach or gray instead of white. depending on the photo that can also turn out really nice.
Photogrammaton PRO 13 years ago
Re. stepinrazor's recent post, I discovered just last night a built-in action in Photoshop that does basic vignetting but not the rest of it. Might not be hard to add the other steps that Hugo VT and others have mentioned. As for Nachosan's tutorial, I haven't read it yet. But finding this discussion sold me on joining the Technique group.
allthewhile PRO 13 years ago
guys guys, you can download lomo actions here:


no need to go to all that trouble!
Rod Graves [deleted] 13 years ago
If you're shooting RAW and using Photoshop to convert, the vignetting and contrast/linear tools are useful.
Marcus M 13 years ago
okay, it took me a while and i am still not completely clear on the whole technique. if i were a little more confortable with ps it would help. here is the original, which has a link to the ps one.
Victor Solanoy PRO 13 years ago
Very nice! I always wondered how to make some of my photos looke like some of the old National Geographic photos. Now I do!

Mission Carmel
Felix the Cat PRO 13 years ago
I just added my version of the lomo effect to the pool (I never figured out how to reference the pic in a discussion) -- it's the beach one. For that one, I actually did most of the alterations in the Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop -- I popped the saturation and contrast, and added the vignetting, then added a white circle to the middle to make it stand out more. You can see the original in my photostream as well.

What do you guys think?
dziner 13 years ago
Here's my first try with the lomo effect. Can I get a seal of approval?

Nomine UK [deleted] 13 years ago
The colours in the original photo were quite flat so I thought I'd see if I could perk it up with a fake lomo effect...

Yellow rose (lomo)
jorgevaldes PRO 13 years ago
Here´s my attempt
hope you like it
Lomo Colors
Lynda Giddens 13 years ago
I love playing with stuff like this. Here's my offering:

Original Bear Music Box

Bear Music Box
melser 13 years ago
Awesome!! Thanks so much :)
fictures 13 years ago
This is one of the idiot-friendliest tutorial around...hehehe..THANKS!
rickz 13 years ago
Here's mine. :)

This Dog Wants You To Read More (19 March 2005)

Here's my attempt. The vignetting is a bit more subtle on this one, and I've simulated a depth-of-field focus that wasn't on the original pic.
Jonathan Wiles 13 years ago
Another attempt, before and after:

camel caravan in rajasthan

caravan via lomo

Any thoughts?

I've been intrigued by the 'lomo look' for a while, and picked up a lc-a in a secondhand shop in Prague recently, but haven't really put it through its paces yet.
killthebird PRO 13 years ago
here is my first attempt at this technique:

iandoh 13 years ago
Fake lomo lovers might want to check out the Faux Vintage group. You may parse "fake lomo lovers" in the preceding sentence however you like.
Yohanna 13 years ago
PS neanderthal me can't figure out this technique. What's the right way to select all without using "select: all"? How do you choose layers? I've tried poring over the PS 7.0 manual, but to no avail. This lomo effect seems interesting.
Is there a PS action (atn. file) available that closely approximates this effect? (though I like Felix-the-Cat's PS Camera Raw getaround!)

- lazy PS lover :-)
Brenda Anderson PRO 13 years ago
syzygynick, follow the link in the original post to the tutorial page, and there is a link on that page to an yallara.cs.rmit.edu.au/~tbujor/blog/lomoeffect.atn. Now, I haven't used that, because I used the Gimp script.
I've just joined this group recently and already I've learnt something I've always wanted to know. Thanks!!

Here's my first attempt. A little too severe at the edges I guess.

Oh, and I've just read the 'rules'. I guess I shouldn't have added it to the pool. Sorry.
gaspi *yg 13 years ago
Well, thanks, but I tried that atn.file on some tif. images and they came out hideously over-posterized. Perhaps that action is scaled for use only with smaller jpg. images?
dingadingdang 13 years ago
this is a great technique!
My first couple of attempts, what do you think?
blackpool tower lomofied north pier lomofied
I've noticed one thing about the "Fake Lomo" effect that's definately not quite right.

If you see these 3 genuine Lomo pics:

Two Towers (02 Jan 2005) Me vs Tower (01 Jan 2005) Pink Bicycle (01 Jan 2005)

... The tunneling effect is actually circular, and is cut off at the longer edges of the images.

Here's how I've done the tunneling effect in PS in the past:
1) Load up original image.
2) Copy background layer to new layer.
3) Fill background layer with black.
4) Add a layer mask to the picture layer, set to "Reveal all".
5) Go to gradient fill tool, and set it to spherical/radial fill, going from foreground to background colours.
6) Set primary/foreground colour to white, and secondary/background colour to very light grey (ie something like 75% white, or even more)
7) Go to mask, and fill with a radial fill out from the centre to the just beyond the corners of the picture. The result of this should be a filled mask which starts off as white in the center and slowly blends to very light grey at the corners.

The mask will slightly blend the picture layer with the background layer (Which is black), so it should look something like on this pic:

Snow over Toryglen (23 Feb 2003)

(NB The above was designed to look more like a Zenit EM pic than a Lomo LC-A, but the tunneling effect is quite similar.)

(NB 2: This post is not aimed at anyone's fake lomo pics in particular, but is just a general observation about the technique.)
Here's my attempt with alephnaught's radial gradient. Thanks!
Goa village store
Edit: Wondering if perhaps doing the radial gradient on a new layer (not mask) and setting that layer to multiply mode might be more lomo-like. I tried it on this pic and it wasn't that different but perhaps on pics with large fields of color (like blue sky) in the edges? Do you guys think the lomos fade to black in the edges or to deeper/almost black versions of the original colour?
nice photoshop tutorial. i was able to create a similar effect on a polaroid 420 land camera by using a black sharpie marker on the lens ( www.flickr.com/photos/saturndesign/7346121/ ). also, along the same lines is a photoshop action script for faux- cross processing. here's a link:
( www.shanzcan.com/photoshop/Shanz_XP_2002.atn )
if that doesn't work, go to ( www.shanzcan.com ) under the photoshop tutorials and down load the action.
Broken Haiku 13 years ago
I'd like to thank you all for supplying the details and help to create this. I've had some interesting experiments in this. The only thing I couldn't figure out was where to change the gradient shading style in Hug's explanation, but the picture turned out lomo style without the gradient step :)
shimonkey 13 years ago
Depends which version of photoshop you have but it's in the tool options. It's not text but a button. In my photoshop 7.0 it's at the top below the menubar.
I use CS

Anyway, here's the result. Note that I deviated a bit from the original technique.

One thing though, shouldn't a true Lomo have more of a blur in the edges too?

Lomo test
Hi Broken Haiku, looks like you forgot to change the blend mode of the last layer to "overlay". I have the impression the colours on the edges usually aren't black, just a lot more saturated.
alterednate PRO 13 years ago
Here's a shot at it:

I like the effect. It's a bit strange to learn about if after shooting digital for years, and having to read about the old days :)
normy [deleted] 13 years ago
I like this effect here are a couple of my efforts:

sugaring and lomo-ed lighthouse
puckles 13 years ago
Am working on something similar for holga... this is my best result so far...

I think i will add the bits where you lighten up the center... don't know tooo much about lomo, but the holga has light leaks and focus issues...

Fake holga... Color?

once i get something i'm real happy with, i'll post the specifics - my how too...

thanks for the tip!
Broken Haiku 13 years ago
Hugo: Uhm. I did purposedly not change it to overlay, to come by the distracting buildings at the top. And from all the examples I see here it seems they are all darker, not just saturated? Anyway, read the description and the image and you'll see where I deviated purposedly

Normy: Great pictures!
Alternate: Good too, even a bit scary!
alephnaught PRO 13 years ago
@ shimonkey, putting the radial gradient on a new layer and using a multiply blend with the layer below sounds a pretty good idea, particularly as you can control the level of the vignetting effect by altering the transparency of the layer.

I've also been trying the "overlay" effect mentioned above with a seperate layer gradiated radial fill which starts as transparent in the centre and fades to black at the edges, and setting the blending of the layer to "overlay".

I've tested this out (in combination with the brightness based vignetting effect) with this photo. Here's a "before -> after":

Dundee Flowers (26 March 2005) Dundee Flowers Lomo-fied (30 March 2005)
@alephnaught: Well I tried the multiply mode on a photo with a lot of sky so I could clearly see the effects in the edges and got this:

Star of India Mast

Which I was disappointed about because it doesn't look a lot like the lomos on this thread which tend to fade to black in the edges. But then I was browsing the real lomos and found this image, which I can't link in because it's not mine...


So I'm thinking multiply might not be a bad idea. Using transparency to control is a good idea though, I was being an idiot and redoing the gradient to get it right. I've only just begun using the masks and adjustment layers in photoshop, although I've used it for other stuff for a while.
camera1 13 years ago
I'm still a Lomo fan, but thanks for posting this technique. Great for Lomofying shots not taken on a Lomo. This was a very flat photo I had been trying to pump up in PS, couldn't quite get what I wanted and thanks to this technique, voila. Still needs some tweeking but much closer to where I'd like to take it. Thanks!

Faking Lomo
My first effort at this technique was less than satisfactory. I've been following everyone's comments and have redone my original photo based on some advice. Still not sure I'm quite there yet. Any advice?

gms, i did a quick hack and came up with this:
i posted what i did as a comment.

here´s a recent semi-lomified one of mine:

i was actually going for the look of an older pic or postcard rather than a lomo...
gms 13 years ago
Thanks drlynch. I've replied as a comment.
wow, there are soo many beautiful images no this post. i'm in love with this new ps technique. thank you so much for sharing it with us!

here's my first trial!
The Hand
groovysuvi 13 years ago
I must say this is a very cool technique. It turned a picture of tulips into something actually cool looking:

Onelog Photography PRO 13 years ago
I was finally able to get this up here, here is one of mine, I love this tutorial, it's given new life to many of my pictures, thank you!
beautiful flower
A great tutorial and a great look, it's like putting pictures through the wash! I managed to liven up a photo of a mural at the end of my street by following the tutorial instructions, with a few variations:

Brixton mural: afterBrixton mural: after

The first trivial modification was to use Photoshop's adjustment layers to apply the usual brightness, contrast and saturation changes. This allows you more freedom to tweak the final effect.

Now, on a large image (8 megapixels) you hit a photoshop maximum feather of 250 px. I stuck with this, 250 feathering, but switched to an eliptical marquee selection, dragging the selection from top left to bottom right so the selection touches all 4 edges. This doesn't need to be 100% accurate, a few pixels out makes little difference at the end.

Also, after step 11, where the saturation vignette is duplicated, I switched back the duplicate layer (on top) to the normal blending mode, and whacked down the opacity to about 30%. This gives both increased saturation and a darkening of the vignette, which looks more authentic, to my eyes.

The last variation was to create a new layer after step 20 (the end); deselect the selection and and fill this new layer with green. Somewhere between lime and teal. When the layer is given overlay properties and the opacity dropped to 10-20%, it adds a characteristic green / yellow tinge that I see a lot in lomokev's images.

But best of all, it was fun trying...:)
alephnaught PRO 13 years ago
@puckles, that Holga effect is interesting. How do you do the light leaks?
alterednate PRO 13 years ago
My latest trial using this method:

I'm becomming addicted - I'd like to aquire a real lomo someday, because I think the feeling of this "effect" is excellent!
Thanks for the tutorial and links to the action - works really well! Here's my Lomo Effect set - have a look and tell me what you think.

lomo windmills
Cedric Bramble 13 years ago
This is a great thread! One of the most distinctive things about Lomo shots is that yello-green tinge, particularly on indoor shots. I experimented with a simplified (i.e impatient) variation on the technique above and came up with this:
Red • Yellow • Green: Le Petit Cochon

With this particular shot, the edges are kept relatively bright and the yellow-green tint is a soft blend, to be more of an accent. What do you think?
Stitch 13 years ago
I dunno how the real lomo camera owners feel about this lomofied photos but I like what I'm seeing. I'm addicted as well and dream of getting a LC-A someday. My latest lomofied image...
bdmckeown 13 years ago
A little late, but here's my first attempt:

The Writing On The Wall
Brendan Dean 13 years ago
Here is my attempt at the Lomo effect using Gimp. The feathering on the elliptical select isn't enough, I don't think. Does anyone have suggestions to get more feathering in those darkening layers?

Carved Tree
wakefield 13 years ago
Hey....I downloaded Gimp but not quite sure how to get the lomo script into gimp....anyone able to help me out???? thanks!!!
Brenda Anderson PRO 13 years ago
wakefield,you need to move the .scm file into your scripts directory, which is a subdirectory of the ".gimp-2.2" directory. I think the .gimp2.2 folder is stored by default in the "documents and setting" folder for your user.
wakefield 13 years ago
where do i get the .scm file? thanks again....!
sautdeau [deleted] 13 years ago
thanks to everybody for the resilience of this thread and the information!

i've been doing some of this intuitively and fun to see some science innit..
Cedric Bramble 13 years ago
Stitch: Yes, that's the unevenly exposed, green-yellow tinted look. Good stuff!
he-sk 13 years ago
here's one that i did when this technique was first posted:

danger will robinson a.k.a. gottlosigkeit

here's one that i tried yesterday:

that way

i also "flipped" the arrow and removed the shadow which i always wanted to do anyway. i'm only starting with photoshop. :)

(links to the originals are in the description.)

Hugo, great technique, thanks for sharing!
@wakefield, the link is in a post in this thread (look here).
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