Funky Curves, Cool Effects {Plus a FREE action!}

As you might already know from my Facebook page, I recently caved and joined Pinterest.  And oh, can I see how that site can not only be addicting, but also a huge time drain!!  Ahhh!  But I digress.

Anyway, I’ve seen so many images on there that are vintage-y, muted, and just generally cool and interesting!  Of course now I’m trying to figure out how to recreate the look.  So I’ve been tapping into the power of the curves adjustment layer in Photoshop.  I’ve really been playing around with moving the endpoints of the curves (the main RGB curve, along with the individual red, blue, and green curves) to see what kind of effects that creates.

There are a few adjustments I wanted to share.  I started with this image again:

… and simply added this curves adjustment…

… to get this… (if you’re in your computer browser, you can see the before and after in the rollover)

I’m calling it Funky Curves Ruby.  The RGB, red, and blue curves were altered.

If I use this curve instead…

… then I get this… (again, rollover for the before and after)

I’m calling this Funky Curves Matte.  Just the RGB and blue curves were adjusted.

To adjust the curve, simply click a point on the curve and drag the line.  To change which curve you are working on (from RGB to red, green, or blue), just click the dropdown for the different options:

I normally stick to clean edits, but I really like the effect this gives!  When I did both the ‘Funky Curves Matte’ and the ‘Funky Curves Ruby’ layers and adjusted opacity, I came up with this (rollover for before)…

Anyways, I just wanted to share to maybe inspire you to play with the curves layer a bit.  The adjustments are so simple to make but create an entirely different feel.  If you want to download the curves layers I used above, I’ve recorded them into an action set available here.  It contains Funky Curves Ruby and Funky Curves Matte.  The opacity can obviously be adjusted to your liking.

I’d love to know what kind of interesting curves you’ve come up with!  Or if these curves look interesting on your images, I’d love to see those, too.  Please share here or on the Facebook page.  And if you are a pro at creating that vintage-y, muted look, please do share your method!

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32 Responses to Funky Curves, Cool Effects {Plus a FREE action!}

  1. Mandy says:

    It’s funky! ;-) I like it. Thanks for sharing the action. It turned out great and I can’t wait to try it. :)

  2. Lisa says:

    I love the matte edit. I have PSE so I’ll have to figure out something similar. BTW, your model is a cutie!

  3. Susan says:

    Thanks, can’t wait to try it! I haven’t played with curves much.

  4. susan r says:

    Thanks – this is very cool – can’t wait to try it. Oh and that little girl is beautiful :)

  5. Tronesia says:

    Love your edit…thank you for sharing your action!

  6. Evelyn says:

    I can’t wait to try it. It looks lovely! :D

  7. Elena says:

    i just stumbled on your site, and all I have to say is WOW! The actions made a great addition to my images (I photograph my little girl). I will make sure to share a couple on your FB site. Totally AWESOME!

    Thank you!

  8. INNA says:

    YOU, my friend – are a genius! I’ve been searching everywhere for a tutorial like this. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  9. Jen says:

    I love this action and I am trying to download it but the link it takes me to seems fishy and it doesnt download any action…is this link still good? Thanks!

  10. Geo John says:

    I’m really thankful to you team for this post… its long time i’m searching for this effect…once again thank you guys, its really appreciated.

  11. MD Yusuf says:

    I love this effect so thank you angie.

  12. teguh says:

    thank you for sharing, angie.. :)

  13. Falycia says:

    Thank you so much! I have been looking a long time for a tutorials like yours! I love that you share how you created each action and tell all the steps you took to get the look. So many sights just say what action to use but don’t give how they accomplished the look. Thank you! This has help answer a lot of questions for me!

  14. Tammy says:

    Hey there.. LOVE this, but on the 4Shared I can’t find the actual download button and I have pushed them all. All try to get me to download EXE files. I do have one that says Polished Picture Fun, but its an exe. Is that right?

    • Angie says:

      Hi Tammy! Ugh, I need to switch over from 4Shared so badly… it’s on my list but I don’t know when I’ll get to it! They’ve really changed things since I started using them. The file to download should be a ‘.atn’ file.

      1) When you click the link on my site, it will take you to a page where there is a Download button with a cloud-like graphic on it. THAT is the button you are looking for!

      2) After clickng that one, it may have you wait (20 seconds?), and then a gray bar/button that says ‘Free Download’ should come up. That is the one that should actually do the download.

      I hope this helps, sorry for the confusion! Thanks for visiting!!!

    • Angie says:

      Just an FYI – I have moved all the downloadable actions to Dropbox, you should now be able to easily download them! Just click back to the post. :)

  15. It’s obviously very good tutorial here.your Funky Curves, Cool Effects techniques is very easy and interesting.thank you for shearing your interesting tutorial and keep it up.

  16. This is totally brilliant and still very very simple! I wanna hug you and say thank you!!!

  17. Sage says:

    Hi! I love this editing technique of yours!! I’m trying to download the action but I’m getting a text script message once I download it and open the Dropbox file. Any way you could help? Thanks in advance!

    • Angie says:

      Hi Sage!
      I would try again, it is working just fine for me. If you are still having trouble, it may be a browser issue. Perhaps trying from another browser will help!

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