How To make a Kodak blue filter effect using Adobe Lightroom

HEADERKodak film’s popularity reached its peak in the 1960’s and ‘70s, when americans felt the urge to catalogue every single holiday, family vacation and birthday celebration being held at that time. In 1965 Kodak movie film was released and since then, its yellow filter became a traditional resource in photography. The aim of this tutorial is to actually transform our picture so it looks like it was taken by a Kodak film camera; given the fact Kodak camera color is still being used for sceneries like Fashion Photography.

Then, we are going to learn how to achieve this effect with Adobe Lightroom. The workflow used in this case is not just adding a preset to finish with the task, given the fact you need to have more control on exposure and other adjustments through the picture, therefore, as it depends on the picture itself, it’s better to stick to the traditional way of making changes.


At first you need to open the photo you want to give “Kodak blue filter effect” in Adobe Lightroom. To open it in Adobe Lightroom simply drag the photo with right clicking and release it in Adobe Lightroom working field. This is how it will show.


Start by opening the photo inside Adobe Lightroom. Drag the photo while right-clicking and release it inside Adobe Lightroom working field. Now click on “Import” to import the photo in Adobe Lightroom; you will find your photo opened in the “Library”. Move to the “Develop” tab to start working on the necessary adjustments.



Before even applying any effect you need to develop the photo. For example, the photo used in this tutorial looks somewhat cool, and this suits my needs since I want the photo to have a cool effect. If it was the opposite, then I would have to apply the necessary adjustments or cooling filters to achieve this kind of effects.


Start with exposure. The value for this photo is a bit high, so move the exposure slider in order to compensate the high exposure value. Remember that you can also slide the exposure value at the “Histogram” on top panel.


Then apply some contrast on the photo to give some highlight. Don’t forget to keep the triangles checked on the left and right of the histogram, they will alert you if the photo turns overexposed or underexposed. Reduce the black to have a good contrast, then add some “clarity” (increasing the mid-tone) on the photo; but as it may reduce the color a little, add some “Vibrance” and compensate with “Saturation” for reduce too intense colors.



Another very important adjustment is the Tone Curve. Go to the Tone Curve panel and click on the “Point curve”. Now you can see the RGB values in a straight line; sliding the curve in downward will increase the contrast and setting it upward will increase the highlight. All we need to do is taking the lower point of the curve to upward in order to give a fade look. Change RGB individually to give a Kodak film effect on your photo.





Here is the creativity of yours to pick the right tone effect. So give the highlight hue 75. Increase the balance to 80. Go to the shadows and make the hue 215 and saturation 35.



Now we want to give a vintage lens effect on our photo, but it is best if we apply some lens correction. Go to the “Lens correction” option and checked the “Enable profile correction” and select a lens profile; for mine I selected “canon EF 15mm 2.8”. For the vintage look go to the “Effect” option and select “the highlight priority” as style, reducing the amount and increasing the midpoint a little. Add some film grain to finish this effect.



Now to save the photo go to the “File” option and select “Export”. A dialogue box will appear showing the saving directory and the format you want to save. Select “JPEG” as the file format and add the location where you want to save it. Then click “Export”.



So you see how easy it is to give a “Kodak blue filter effect” on your photo.

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