Lomo photography has gained grounds and is today a much used effect also on regular photos. The effect is all about mimic the photos which the old cameras from LOMO generated. Since it also is a very simple effect to mimic with the use of an image manipulation application I will show you how to do this using GIMP. GIMP is a free alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop which can be a bit hard to learn since the interface is very unique. But once learned, you can do very much with it.
The features which distinguish a lomo photo is the colors which are a bit unbalanced with a blue tint and also quite heavy vignetting.
We will use the following photo:
Let’s begin! Boot up GIMP and follow the work flow below.
- Open image
- From the menu in GIMP choose Color > Curves and create an ‘S’ shape for the curve to modify the colored tint.
Alternative: To get even a more complete lomo effect, use an ‘S’ curve for all colors except blue. But as a start, go for the ‘S’ curve on all colors!
Alternative: Before going for the curves you can also increase contrast and brightness a tiny bit to bring even more colors to the photo. You can find both contrast and hue in the top menu, Colors > Brightness-Contrast.
- Time to give the image a strong vignette. This is done by adding a radial gradient to the image. First select the entire photo by selecting Select > All (CTRL + A)
- Shrink the selection a bit, Select > Shrink
- Feather the selection to get a soft selection and not get sharp corners, Select > Feather
- No invert your selection to select the outer part of the selection instead of the inner part, Select > Invert
- Create a new layer
- Choose the Gradient tool, set shape to ‘Radial’, colors white to black. Starting from the center of the image, create a gradient down to the bottom of the image and you should end up with something like this
- Now with the new layer selected choose Overlay as layer style for the layer to make it darken the edges instead of overflowing them.
- End by flatten all layers of the image and you are done!
Lomo photo effect using GIMP, quick and easy!