Abandoned Disney (8) Adventure Thru Inner Space (2) Adventureland (12) America Sings (1) Animal Kingdom (2) Animation (19) Animatronics (20) Area Music (7) Backyard Imagineering (6) Behind-the-Scenes (39) Big Thunder Mountain (3) California Adventure (6) Captain E.O. (1) Carousel of Progress (12) Castle (7) Characters (6) Club 33 (1) Concept (13) Construction (15) Country Bear Jamboree (2) Death (2) Disney Channel (1) Disneyland (50) Disney-MGM Studios (1) Donald Duck (3) Entertainment (5) Epcot (28) Fantasyland (16) Fess Parker (1) Film (25) Frito Kid (4) Frontierland (14) Germany (1) Hall of Presidents (4) Haunted Mansion (10) Hidden Mickeys (2) Holidays (1) Hollywood Studios (1) Horizons (3) House of the Future (1) Illustration (3) Imagineering (1) John Lasseter (4) Journey Into Imagination (2) Jungle Cruise (15) Lake Buena Vista (1) Liberty Square (3) Lillian Disney (2) Ludwig Von Drake (1) Magic Kingdom (23) Main Street U.S.A (12) Maintenance (1) Management (5) Maps (13) Marc Davis (8) Marty Sklar (3) Matterhorn (6) Monorail (4) Mr. Lincoln (3) Muppets (2) Music (3) Mystery (9) Nature's Wonderland (7) New Orleans Square (6) Orange Bird (2) Paul Frees (1) PeopleMover (10) Peter Pan (2) Photos (1) Pirates of the Caribbean (9) Pixar (5) Pleasure Island (1) Podcast (1) Progress City (1) Props (2) Railroad (2) Resorts (2) River Country (4) Rivers of America (2) Roy Disney (1) Scale Models (21) Skyway (3) Song of the South (2) Sound Effects (2) Souvenirs (3) Space (3) Space Mountain (6) Splash Mountain (1) sSpace Mountain (1) Tangled (2) The Living Seas (1) Then and Now (17) Tiki Birds (2) Tilt Shift (2) Tomorrowland (39) Tomorrowland 67 (8) Treehouse (1) Vintage Disneyland (3) Walt Disney (15) Walt Disney Family (7) Walt Disney Family Museum (1) Walt Disney World (6) Ward Kimball (1) Wonders of Life (1) World of Motion (2) World's Fair (2) Yeti (1)

Orange Bird Photo Hunt


« Recreating the Pirates Jail Scene in Miniature | Main | YEAR IN REVIEW »

Vintage-izing Your Park Pics

It seems that every time I take photos of the parks I have high expectations that the photos will look stunning the moment I see them on a large screen.  Inevitably I find myself disappointed at just how booooring the pics turn out. "Golly... these look outright crummy!", I shout. 

I’m no professional photographer and I always expect to need a bit of post-production magic to make the shots look half-decent. But lately I’ve realized something else. The kinds of park photos I can’t stop staring at all come from olden-ages when unassuming tourists used actual film and entirely non-digital cameras. No really, they did. Add to that a few decades of fading hues and we get beautiful and interesting imagery.  Since I don't have one of those cameras and I don't know if stores actually sell film anymore, I'm left with digital pictures and Photoshop.

So here are a few pics I shot (all within the last year) adjusted to look not only much older but much more interesting (assuming you and I share similar taste). To the photography purist, I disclaim: no specific film or process was meant to be replicated here. These are simply supposed to look older and better than the originals. And if they look like they belong on Daveland or Gorillas Don't Blog, then mission accomplished.

So it's really isn't that difficult to do. Old photos generally have less saturated colors.  Often the blacks are not solid black but more brown, reddish, or blue in color. 



Just one of many ways to pull off the effect. Note that there are a bunch of other "vintage" photo styles you can replicate, this being just one. (Video by Mitch).




References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Marques Weise
    I value the blog write-up. Wonderful.
  • Response
    Well, I agree with what you wrote, but not with all of it.Despite, it's all admirable material. Thanks!

Reader Comments (16)

Wow, I never thought about doing this to my Disney pics but they are so much more appealing for some reason. I love the vintage look. I am going to have do this with my recent trip pics!

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDisney_Casey

Thanks, Disney Casey! If that really is your real name. :) Yes, try it. You might have some fun.

January 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterMitch

Did you take a flash picture in Pirates?! For shame!!

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShoe

I love adding a nice vintage look to my Disneyland photos! Though I usually use a lighter look:

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaylee

I find adding a monochromatic noise layer at a lower %, then setting it's blend mode to soft light and it's opacity to around 50% adds that final retro touch.

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwdidreamer

What program is this on? It really looks great.

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBri

Did anyone else notice but, the mate with the guitar in front of Cafe Orleans(performing with the others) looks A LOT like Jon Walmsley of WALTONS fame?

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross


January 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

Eric - That IS Jon of the Waltons TV show. He is an accomplished musician and member of the pirate musical group!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkurt

I heard he worked at Disneyland for a time...guess that proved it! Neat picture to see!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross

LOL!!! While I absolutely love looking at the photos on the afore mentioned blogs, I never thought about making my pics look vintage. I love it! Will I do it? Probably not! Thanks for putting the originals up for comparison, too. Cool post!

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie

Adding a touch of vintage on our photos really gives a better effect on out photos... Vintage is never been out of the picture and I just love how photos transformed into something very unusual. Another photos which I love to transform into vintage touch is wedding pictures you will never notice that it was taken in the present time.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

Those look great!

I have a camera app called Hipstamatic for my iphone and you can take great looking vintage shots.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonnie

Well, I'd say mission accomplished! Looks pretty good, I may have to try it on some of my photos. It also helps that you picked subject matter that was from the period; had Buzz or Nemo been in the picture, it wouldn't have been as convincing.

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSam Towler

If you have a smartphone, try using apps instead of Photoshop to get an instantaneous pay-off. I recommend Instagram, Photogene, or Cross Process as choice apps. In fact, I was delighted to see this article posted here as "vintage-izing" is all my friends do with their Disney Park photos now instead of HDR and over saturation.

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetaMike

Film cameras and film are easy to come by, check out my photos from wdw and disneyland all taken on film..

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchad schaefer

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>