Replicate traditional photographic techniques using step-by-step walkthroughs - part one: adding grain

METHOD 1: THE FILM GRAIN FILTER

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Just as black-&-white photography has become synonymous with tradition, glamour, and sophistication, high-grain images engender a sense of gritty realism.

Traditionally, film grain is controlled by many factors, including the emulsion of the film (higher-speed films produce coarser grain), exposure settings, and darkroom processes.

In digital photography, setting a higher ISO rating on the camera will cause digital noise to appear in a similar way (though the effect is rarely attractive).

As a result, it can be better to recreate the effect using Photoshop's tools. The choice of image is important - some subjects fit the style more comfortably than others. B&W photography can be very flattering with film grain, as can images with simple or limited tones.

Portraits work well, as does anything with a pensive or moody theme. Ultimately you'll know if your choice of image works as soon as you see the effect.

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1. Go to Filter > Artistic > Film Grain. The filter works by adding a uniform pattern to the shadows and midtones and a smoother pattern with higher saturation to the highlights.
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Use the Grain slider to define the amount of grain. The Highlight slider increases the amount of highlight in the image. For greater realism, keep the Intensity setting low. The settings shown in the example render a subtle effect. 
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Experiment with the settings so you can see the wide range of possibilities. The more familiar you become with this filter, the more able you will be to fine tune the effect for your own images. 
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<div class=inlineimage><img src= Noise > Add Noise. Set the Distribution to Uniform, check the Monochromatic checkbox, and set the Amount to 38 per cent. Selecting the Gaussian option would create a less subtle effect - the Monochromatic option ensures that only greyscale noise is generated.

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2. Change the grain layer

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<h2>ALTERNATIVES</h2> 
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