Vintage Lab Photoshop Plugin
CC 2017 Update: Latest release is 100% compatible. Download update below.
- Photoshop: CS3 or Higher
- Operating System: Windows or Mac
- Current Version 1.3.2
Download is for a trial or to update
Vintage Lab Overview
The Vintage Lab plugin is designed to mimic traditional film black and white as well as toned images. The process it uses to create the black and white images mimics a colored lens filter. This is the traditional method that old time photographers used to add contrast based on color.
The toned images use a soft light blending method. This really help keep good contrast without the “washed out” look that is often present when adding tone to black and white images. Additionally, the filter creates really nice split tones images. Split toning is where 2 tones are added. One tone saturates the highlights more and the other saturates the shadows more. In film photography, this is done on prints by using 2 toning chemicals. Sepia / Selenium is a traditional split tone where Sepia effects the highlights more and Selenium effects the shadows more.
Vintage Lab Pro also has a built in matrix batch processor. This can apply as many different styles as you want to an entire folder of images. For example, you could have it make a black and white, sepia, cyanotype, selenium, split tone, and anything else to every image in a folder with just a few clicks.
Tint Comparison – Photoshop B&W Filter vs. Vintage Lab
Tint is added differently with Vintage Lab then it is in the Photoshop black and white adjustment layer. The Photoshop black and white adjustment layer has a similar effect as a solid color layer in "color" blend mode. When a strong tint is applied, this tends to give the image a flatter appearance and the highlights start to become washed out. Vintage Lab adds tint using soft light blending. This better preserves highlights and keeps more image contrast. In addition, the user has complete control over the tint blending in both the highlights and shadows so you can balance this for each image.
Lens Filter Simulation
Vintage Lab uses channel mixing to simulate colored lens filters. The lens filter can be adjusted from 0-360 degrees and from 0-100% strength. It does all of the math in the background to avoid any channel clipping. This method allows you to create high contrast B&W image conversion with natural gray scale transitions between the different colors. This works especially well for skin tones. For skin, the best filter hue range is usually from 60-150 depending on the skin color. With the Photoshop B&W adjustment layer, the skin often partially falls into the red slider and partially into the yellow slider. Often, it will give unnatural transition when trying to brighten or darken skin. With Vintage Lab, you can always achieve a natural high contrast images with skin tones. By combining the lens filter along with the brightness and contrast sliders that apply non-linear curves which also avoid channel clipping you have maximum control.
Split Tone Examples
Split toning can create some really nice tinted images. You can blend 3 different tints. The first tint affects the entire image. The 2nd tint is masked to inverse luminosity so it affects shadows and then tapers off to the highlights. The 3rd tint is masked to positive luminosity so it affects the highlights and tapers off to the shadows. Also, the masks are always re-calculated whenever the user makes any adjustment to the image which would affect the brightness, contrast, etc.
Single Tone Examples
You can add tone in any hue or strength. You can easily most common toning types such as sepia, selenium, cyanotype, etc. There are quite a few presets for common toning. You can also save your own presets.