How to Give Photos a Blue Tint Film Look


Photography, whether as a hobby or career, is an activity with many levels. Lining up the shot and snapping the photograph is only the beginning. With the right programs and instructions, you can turn that image into nearly anything you desire. There is a long list of creative changes you can make to your image. One such change is to give the image a cooling effect using blue tint.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Photoshop, GIMP or other image-editing program
  • Camera
  • Photo printing paper (optional)
  • Printer (Optional)
  • Picture frame (Optional)

Prepare the Photo

  • Transfer the photo from the camera to your computer.

  • Open your photo-editing program on your computer.

  • In Photoshop or GIMP, click on "File," then "Open" and select the image to which you want to add the blue tint. This process will be the same in most image-editing programs.

  • Adjust the light, contrast and saturation, if needed, or make any other basic changes to the image.

  • Save the project file by clicking on "File" and "Save" and selecting ".psd" or "Photoshop File" from the "Format" drop-down menu if you are using Photoshop. In GIMP, select ".xcf" from the "Extensions" drop-down menu for the program's native format.

Add the Filter

  • Select "New Layer" in the "Layer" or "Image" drop-down menu for Photoshop and GIMP, respectively. Most image-editing systems will have a similar setup.

  • Use shortcuts to add the new layer for a Mac or PC. For a Mac, press down the keys "Command," "Shift" and "N" or, for a PC, "Control," "Shift" and "N." This is the same for both Photoshop and GIMP.

  • Select "Adjustments" and "Photo Filter" from the "Image" drop-down menu in Photoshop. In GIMP, select "Colorify" from the "Colors" drop-down menu.

  • Select the filter you want to add. Photoshop's "Blue," "Deep Blue" or one of the program's "Cooling Filters" will add a blue tint. In GIMP, select the shade of blue you desire. Be sure your image is in RGB mode, an acronym for a color mode that stands for red, green and blue.

  • Select or de-select "Preserve Luminosity" for the style you prefer for your photo, if you are a Photoshop user.

Adjust the Filter

  • Adjust the filter -- in Photoshop -- by sliding the density adjuster back and forth, or type in the desired density percentage. GIMP users can select from a range of colors for the filter.

  • Save the project file with various filter density levels if you are using Photoshop, or with different shades of blue in other image-editing programs. Save these files under different names and review the images.

  • Select the image that has the correct level of blue tint or the correct blue color for the final look you desire.

  • Open the selected image. In Photoshop, make any final adjustments to the filter by right-clicking on "Photo Filter" in the Layers sidebar and selecting "Edit Adjustment." In GIMP, select "Mask" and "Edit Layer Mask" in the Layer drop-down menu.

  • Save the project file, then also save the file in the picture format you desire.

Optional Finishing Touches

  • Load photo paper into your printer on to which you can print your completed photograph.

  • Select "Print" from the "File" drop-down menu or use the shortcut "Command," "P" on a Mac, or "Control," P" on a PC.

  • Allow the ink on the photograph to dry before touching the paper.

  • Frame your picture, if desired.

  • Hang your photo on a wall for a piece of personalized art or wrap it and give it as a gift for a family member or friend.

Tips & Warnings

  • Save your project file often to avoid losing hard work.

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  • Photo Credit Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images
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