43. Grunge – A High-Contrast Look

I’ve noticed the word grunge used to describe images that don’t describe the same effect.  No matter, they all have a look, that in my opinion is edgy. This one is no different.



  1. Open an image.  Duplicate the layer with the keystroke Ctrl -J (Mac/Command-J). On this layer do any changes needed to clean up the background, remove blemishes, etc
  2. With the new layer highlighted you will now act as if you are changing this to black and white.  You can use any method you prefer for the black and white enhansement.  For PSE >Enhance>Convert to Black and White; Newspaper (or pick another selection) in the Dialog box. Another way in Photoshop  is the Adjustment icon is on the lower edge of the layers palette.  Layer>Adjustment>Black and White  Both programs: Using the drop down menu in the Layers palette, set the blend mode to Luminosity.  It will again be a color image. This will bump up the highlight ans the shadows, creating more contrast.  Then you can go back and double click on the icon and adjust the specific colors while seeing the changes in the image.
  3. Create a merged layer at the top of the stack. Ctrl-Alt-Shift-E (Mac/Command-Option-Shift-E)
  4. Now add a sharpening effect.  Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask.  Set the Amount 100, Radius 250, Threshold 0
  5. At this point you can finish by saving as a PSD, and/or flatten your image and save as a JPEG or add a vignette to the edges in step six below.
  6. Right click on the merge layer to duplicate it, then select the Burn Tool, in the options select a soft round brush and adjust the size to your needs with the bracket keys, set the range to midtones with the exposure about 50%.  Brush around the outside edged to burn a vignette.  Go back to the layers palette and lower the opacity of this layer to make the effect more subtle, if desired.

About momentsphotographybysandy

This blog is designed to enrich the world of digital photography by expanding the creative potential allowed in Photoshop programs. Shoot - that sounds like fun!
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