How To Give Your Photos A Gritty, High-Contrast Look

You've probably seen professional photos and advertisements (especially sports ads) with a gritty, high-contrast look. Assuming you've got a well-lit photo, this effect is very easy to achieve in just a few seconds by blending a colour channel. Here's how.

The video above demonstrates the process for you, but here are the basic steps:

  • Go into the Channels palette in Photoshop, select the green layer and copy it.
  • Select the RGB composite layer in the Channels palette, then switch back to the layers palette and paste the green layer you just copied into a new layer.
  • Set the blending mode of your newly pasted layer to Overlay.
  • Dial down the opacity until you get the look you want.

That's it!


    I do a similar effect by using a black and white layer rather than using the green channel, from there you can boost or reduce any particular colour you like.

    Just out of interest - why is Lifehacker doing posts on using a professional graphics package costing hundreds of dollars that the average user would not have (unless via BT)? Why aren't these tutorials using Gimp or Paint.NET which are free?

      Probably because BT is where 50% of people get PhotoShop. I use Gimp instead and it's usually fairly easy to apply the PS techniques in Gimp.


    better late than never...?

    I've been trying to figure out the best way to do this in GIMP for a while now, I think the best way is create an new layer, do the "Colorify" in the colors menu, pick the green color, then adjust the opacity of that layer down to 20-40%

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