How to Create Matte Effect

So I was thinking about a tutorial that might actually be useful for these particular projects.  Most of us are doing family and will probably be using old family photos, so I thought it might be kinda cool if we all learned how to create a matte effect on images.  This effect works best on photos that do not have a face in them, but still show people, such as the image below.  I’ve seen this effect added to war photos, wedding shots, and baby portraits.  Hopefully you’ll find this trick helpful!

1) To begin, choose your image that you think will work best for a matte effect and open it into Photoshop.

2) Go to this side bar and click on the middle button on the top row.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.03.44 PM

3) It will look like this, it is called CURVES:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.06.16 PM

4) This box will pop-up:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.07.01 PM

5) This is where things start to get tricky.  Your image hasn’t been changed yet,  so the line will be straight going from the bottom left corner to the top right corner in a straight line.  From here, you’ll click into the properties box and drag the small white box from the white line up until you are satisfied with the effect.  (You’ll be able to change it again if you decide later you want it to be more dramatic, etc.).

Original: Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.08.56 PM

As you raise the bottom left corner up, the image will become lighter and more matte:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.11.03 PM

6) Once you are happy with the level you raised the bottom corner to, next you will go to the middle of the white line and pull downward on it to create a dip.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.13.58 PM

This will add to the effect, and the deeper you pull on the line, the more contrast will appear and dramatize your image. If you choose to leave it more airy, only pull down on the line slightly.

7) If you so wish to, you can also lighten the photo to a bright matte by pullin up on the line to create a whitening effect that still appears matte:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.15.48 PM

8) Once you are happy with the level you’ve created so far, the next step is to create an additional layer by clicking on the Levels button which looks like this: Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.18.16 PM

And this box will pop-up:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.18.53 PM

9) Now you will go to the little white glob/knob (on the right) underneath the weird bar graph looking thing (sorry I don’t know the correct language!) and slowly drag the knob towards the center until you are happy. Do this on the black knob as well (left side).

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.20.16 PM

10) if the contrast becomes too intense or too weak,  (this sometimes happens when you do the above step) move the knob on the bar underneath that to adjust the levels of contrast:

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.23.26 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.23.44 PM

And then you are done! Yay!

Here’s a look at the original versus the new matte finish:

pink_wedding_shoesScreen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.25.20 PM

Good luck,