How To Turn Your HDRs Vintage

If you’ve ever been faced with a problem where you just can’t get your exposure right for a landscape scene or a building, then you might want to take a look at HDR photography. An HDR photo, or a High Dynamic Range photo, is one that is created by merging more than one instances of the same photo at different exposure settings. When merged, the resulting image has a much broader range of highlights and shadows that can be manipulated a great deal to achieve a perfect exposure.

This process relies a lot on which HDR editor you use. Many of these offer very basic controls, allowing you to merge images together and tweak exposure, but what if you need an editor that can also help you get that vintage look from your HDR photo that others can’t provide? For that particular need, Aurora HDR is pretty much the best option out there.

Go Vintage with Aurora HDR

Aurora HDR is not your typical HDR editor. It not only helps in creating some stellar looking HDR photos with its extensive controls but also boasts a very intuitive interface that anyone can get used to. Available as either a standalone software or a plugin for other programs such as Adobe Photoshop, this HDR editor is as versatile as they come. There are a number of presets that help create the perfect look for your photos in an instant, and these can also be further edited if you require.

So how do you go vintage with Aurora HDR? Well, with all the manual control over your photos, it’s a very simple process:

  • Drop the contrast in your photo to give a softer look to your photo.
  • Make the temperature warmer to get that yellowish tint.
  • Drop the saturation and vibrance to achieve that ‘old photo’ kind of look.
  • Voila! You have a fairly convincing vintage HDR photo at your hands.

If you want to dive deeper into the settings and tweak your photo more, then you can also use the Color Toning toolbar to really fine tune a vintage look for your photo. Have a look at this tutorial for more details on this method.

So if you need to take an HDR photo because of bad lighting or just to get more detail in your shot, but at the same time want to have a vintage look for your image, take a shot at Aurora HDR and you might just end up with the perfect HDR vintage photo.

How to Unleash your Inner Vintage Photographer in 2017

Now that the world of digital photography has progressed so much, the older methods of taking photos seem trivial to many. However, there is a large number of photographers who prefer to have that vintage vibe in their photos and try their best to emulate a retro look in their work.

But with so much work being done digitally nowadays, how can you get that vintage look and feel? Luckily, if you’re really into the classic ways of making photos, there are different things you can try even today.

  • Dive into Photo Editing

If you want the ease of using a digital camera for your work but want that specific vintage look, then just use one of the many vintage photo editors available to give your images a retro feel. These editors will not only let you edit your RAW files non-destructively but will also provide you with a bevy of professional-grade vintage filters and effects to experiment with.

When using filters, be sure not to overdo anything. An overpowering filter is never good for any photo as it runs the actual scene you’re trying to show. Try using soft lighting for your photos before you take them in a photo editor for maximum effect.

  • Try an Instant Camera

A great way to relive the old days is to take photos with an instant camera. Modern instant cameras are small in size and give you instant prints of your images. You have to use paper in these cameras so you’ll be much more limited with your shots than with a digital camera. This not only makes you more conscious of the images you take and those you don’t but also encourages you to take more chances.

While it’s easier to just pick up a small modern camera and start shooting, the joy of having the opportunity to share a physical photo with your subject right in the moment is something unique.

  • Just Get a Film Camera

If none of what is written above satisfies your inner photographer and you really do want something fully vintage, then just get a film camera. There are many film cameras that you can buy brand new these days, but there are several opportunities to get something used for a very good price. Many people who use film cameras swear by their quality and say that it’s something that just can’t be emulated digitally, and we tend to agree with them. If you want to take proper vintage-looking photos, then a film camera is the best choice you can make.


As you can see, there are still ways that can help you take vintage photos in the age of digital photography. So make a choice, go out there, and start capturing the world the way you want.

Tips to take Vintage Photos

If you love the idea of taking vintage-looking photos, you should be familiar with what really constitutes a vintage image. Yes, slapping a filter on any photo can make it look vintage but that is just a lazy way to do it. To take a photo that really embodies the vintage theme, keep the following tips in mind.

The Subject is Key

You can’t really take a photo of a Lamborghini parked at a pier somewhere, put a vintage filter on top of it, and call it a vintage photo, can you? The subject in your photograph is very important when taking old-school, retro-looking photos. People make great subjects for these photos, and so do urban and street scenes. However, try to keep your scene as clean as possible. Too much of anything is not really good to have in a vintage photo.

Use Soft Lighting

Try to avoid harsh lighting whenever possible. A vintage photo is characterized by a soft-looking image with a color shift on it. This softness cannot always be achieved with harsh lighting. If you’re taking photos in a studio, creating a soft light shouldn’t be a problem. For outdoor photos, consider using reflectors and diffusers to soften the overall light too.

It’ all about the Mood

As stated before, a vintage photo is more about the overall mood and feel than anything else. A combination of the appropriate subject, lighting, and background elements is what makes a photo look vintage. Actual vintage photos were taken at a time when there were fewer cars, fewer people, and fewer signs on the roads. So try to emulate that look instead of taking normal street photos in the busy parts of New York and making them look vintage by putting an Instagram filter over them.

Great Ways to Get a Vintage Photo

Do you want your photos to stand out a bit more in the sea of images being shared on the internet every day? Do you like to use filters and effects to make your photos look better? If yes, then one of the quickest and easiest ways to add a really nice mood to a photo is by making it look like a vintage photograph.

The good thing about this whole process is that it’s not difficult at all to turn a photograph vintage. All you need to do is use a reputable photo editor to apply a filter to your images. In this guide, we will discuss two very different editors that help you add vintage effects to your photos.


Created by the software giant Autodesk, Pixlr-o-matic is the go-to vintage photo editor for those people who want a quick way to edit their photos online. The interface is simple and to the point. You have a series of filter ranging from those with bright colors to monochrome ones at the bottom of the screen. You can sift through them and see their effect on your photo quite easily before choosing one of them. The collection of vintage filters this editor has is quite good, so it may be worth a shot if you’re looking for something that doesn’t need to be downloaded and can be used anywhere with an internet connection.

Oh and if it wasn’t clear already, Pixlr-o-matic is completely free to use.


If a web app is too simplistic for you and you don’t want to use filters that may lead to image degradation, then Luminar is the best image editor you can download. It is a paid editor, but what it offers in return is well worth the money.

Luminar is a RAW photo editor, which means you can be sure that the edits to your images will be non-destructive if you use RAW files. Other than basic image adjustments, Luminar has a variety of high-end filters including a completely vintage photo editing section that can be use quickly and easily. Just choose a preset that you like and then dive into detailed editing to get the look you want. So if you want a software that lets you create professional-grade vintage images, Luminar is a great choice.



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