A great way to modify or change the texture or mood or feeling of your photographs is by adding some film grain. So here in this initial movie I want to share with you a few techniques that you can use in order to easily add some film grain to your photographs. We'll be working with this portrait here that I captured of one of my best friends and his son Dylan, they lived down in Costa Rica and they'd just come out of the ocean, and you can see that they are really connected, and so I want to add a bit more character or timelessness to this photograph by adding some film grain.
To do that we want to copy our background layer, press Command+J on a Mac, or Ctrl+J on Windows, and do that twice so that we have three layers. We'll go ahead and name the top layer grain, then we'll name the second layer here noise. Next let's turn off the visibility of the top layer, and let's start off with this noise layer. If you navigate to the Filter pulldown menu, you can go down to Noise and then there underneath Noise you have the ability to select Add Noise. This is a really great way to add some grain.
With this little teeny window what I'd like to do is to try to position it over the image, so I can still kind of see the rest of the photograph. When you're working with this you'll want to use Gaussian and Monochromatic. Without Monochromatic you'll see there are all these little color artifacts and then Uniform, it'll be a bit too even. So again we want to turn on Monochromatic and Gaussian, that typically works best. Then we can use the Amount slider to increase or to decrease the size of the grain. Typically what you'll do is try to have just a subtle amount of grain, you don't want it to overpower your picture.
With this photograph I think right around 5% looks good let's go ahead and click OK in order to apply that. Then if we click on the Eye icon we can see here's the before and then now here's the after. And sometimes especially with digital capture like with this image which was captured on a Canon 5D Mark II is that sometimes the images are too perfect. By adding some film grain it kind of smooth things out a little bit and softens the image in a really nice and interesting way. All right, well now that we've looked at how we can add this by way of the Noise Filter let's also do this by way of the Grain Filter, here we'll click on grain and then turn on the visibility of that layer, and then we'll go down to our Filter pulldown menu and open up the Filter Gallery.
In this Filter Gallery underneath Artistic you'll find the option for Film Grain, you can also find this in the pulldown menu here, so if you selected a different filter previously, you can just choose this from this pulldown menu, and it'll target that icon there, and then you can start to make the adjustments. All right, well now that we have this image here let's go ahead and click and drag it over, so we can see the details. We have a Grain slider, which is similar to what we had with that Noise Filter, we can click and drag this to the right in order to increase this, but we also have the ability to work on our highlight areas.
With this image it won't really work, but let me show you how you can use these sliders. When you increase your highlight area and then your Intensity slider, you can see that what it's doing here is it's protecting this area, it's not adding grain to that part of your photograph, this is obviously too intense or too high, yet as we decrease that you can start to see how the grain isn't completely even rather it's a little bit more backed off in those areas allowing some of those highlights to come through. Now with this photograph I don't think that's very essential, but it's just worthwhile to point that out so that you can see how you can use that.
With this picture because it's pretty evenly lit, removing your highlight area and intensity in my opinion at least I think works better. All right, so I'll click and drag the Grain slider up to about 3 approximately and then go ahead and click OK. Now back in the Layers panel we can see both of these options, here is the Grain Filter applied before, and then now after, and then here is that Noise Filter. Both of these filters work in a little bit different way, so which filter is best. What I found in my own workflow is that I used the Noise Filter a lot although I also like the Grain Filter, it depends upon the photograph, so certain photographs I like to experiment with both of these to see which works best, yet either way you now have picked up a couple of techniques that you can use in order to add film grain to your photographs.
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