How to recreate an old Lith-style print with a few simple steps.

In this tutorial, I am going to try and reproduce a lith-style print. Lith printing has a distinctively warm tone and grain, high contrast and some film grain.

Open a picture to work with, and Ctrl + Shift + U to desaturate it. If you are starting with a grayscale image, don’t forget to go to Image > Mode > RGB before continuing.

Firstly, to colour the image. Add a hue/saturation layer from Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue & Saturation. I have used:
Hue = 31
Saturation = 35
With colourise ticked.

Now – the grain. Make a new fill layer in Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Colour, name the layer and click ok. You need to set the colour to middle grey (hex code #808080). Then click ok. Set the Blend Mode of this grey layer to Overlay (in the layers pallet).

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Make sure it is set to Monochromatic so you don’t get coloured noise, and gaussian will give a more realistic outcome than uniform (because noise on a film is not uniform, obviously). I’m using 8%, this will vary for your image.

To make the edges of the noise less harsh, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Pick something small here, just enough to blur the edges of the grains. It is only to give it a more ’natural’ and ’aged’ feel. Also reduce the opacity of the grey layer a little if you want to be more accurate. I’ve dropped it to 70%

Finally, a Brightness and Contrast layer should be made, Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness & Contrast. Increase contrast somewhat, and adjust brightness to keep it looking realistic. I found this to work well for me:
Brightness = 10
Contrast = 17

That concludes the tutorial on making a Lith-style Print. If you would like further information or help understanding aspects of this topic, please post in the Tutorial Talk Forum.


About the author:

I live in Northern Ireland, currently still in school studying to do Sonic Arts at university. Enjoy photography (Nikon D70) and Photoshop (Cs), aswell as playing bass in jazz bands and singing choral/classical works.
Check out my Profile/Gallery for more tutorials and to see my work.