22 Best Retro & Vintage Photoshop Actions for 2023
Retro and vintage Photoshop actions are the most effective ways to take modern photos and make them look as though they were taken decades ago.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the best ones we could find.
They’re all from Envato Elements, a design library filled with over 2 million assets.
They’re all accessible for an unlimited number of downloads when you subscribe to the program for $16.50/month. Read our review to learn more.
Let’s check out this list in the meantime.
The Best Retro & Vintage Photoshop Actions
01. 80s Retro Catalog Action
This retro Photoshop action is meant to give your images a look reminiscent of photography of the 1980s.
It does this with soft blur effects and warm, glowing color tones.
It uses Smart Object layers and gives you plenty of settings to adjust.
02. Retro Film Photoshop Actions
This is one of the best vintage Photoshop actions for photographers who want a large collection of this sort of action to choose from.
It comes with 50 retro Photoshop actions that give your photos a vintage feel from the 40s, 50s and 60s, either with retro-style color or black-and-white color tones.
Each action is well layered.
03. Vintage Photoshop Actions
This collection comes with 50 vintage Photoshop actions.
They’re subtle color effects that also apply soft glows to your image.
Each action is well layered, so they’re easy to customize.
04. Angel Retro Photoshop Action
This small collection of retro Photoshop actions applies subtle effects and color tones to your images to give them a 60s or 70s type of look.
They do this with light yellowish-brown color tones and delicate glow effects.
There are 10 vintage Photoshop actions in this pack.
05. Vintage Portrait Photoshop Action
This is one of the best vintage Photoshop actions for photographers who specialize in portrait photography.
It makes modern photos look as though they were taken decades earlier.
It mainly does this by brightening images and applying vintage-style color tones.
The collection comes with three Photoshop actions and three lightroom presets.
06. Vintage Grain Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action makes modern photos look as though they were taken in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.
It does this with an intense grain texture effect and vintage-style color tones, such as black and white or a soft sepia tone.
You can edit multiple aspects of this action as it’s broken down into Smart Object layers.
07. Vintage Old Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action is subtle but effective when it comes to creating vintage image effects.
It applies a grainy texture over your image along with a dull, very light sepia color tone that gives your image an old photo look.
08. Retrograde, Retro and Vintage Actions
This is one of the best collections of vintage Photoshop actions for photographers who want professional photoshoot and movie poster looks of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
It comes with seven Photoshop actions in total.
They use multiple effects and settings to achieve retro styles.
They also come fully layered. Even so, the creator recommends using images that are at least 2,000px along their shortest sides for best results.
09. Soft Vintage
This Photoshop action is a bit unique in comparison to a lot of other actions on this list.
While other actions are designed to make it look as though your image was taken on an older camera or type of film, this action gives your image a vintage appeal while still looking quite modern.
Hence the name “Soft Vintage.”
10. Vintage Paint
This unique Photoshop action transforms your original images into older style oil paintings.
This gives it a vintage appeal similar to oil painting styles of the late 19th century.
The designer recommends using images with higher resolutions, from 2,000 to 4,000px.
11. Old Vintage Photoshop Action
This is another small collection of vintage Photoshop actions, 10 to be exact.
This one creates photo effects akin to the early 20th century.
Some actions use grainy textures. Others apply vintage color tones, such as sepia.
12. Vintage Grain Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action creates older image effects with black-and-white color tones and grainy, worn textures.
It makes it look as though your images were taken during the late 19th century.
It comes with one action file and one brush file.
13. Vintage Sketch Photoshop Action
This unique Photoshop action turns your images into older, 19th and earlier-style sketches and paintings.
It also gives them a weathered look.
The action has many, well-structured layers, so you can adjust almost every part of it.
The creator recommends using images with resolutions of 72 DPI or higher.
14. Vintage Grain Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action isn’t as subtle as other actions on this list, but it’s still effective.
It makes your photos look truly old and weathered by applying a grainy texture to them and a heavy sepia color tone that’s darker along the edges.
The creator recommends using images with a minimum resolution of 5,000 x 2,500px or 72 DPI for best results.
15. Retro Collage
This Photoshop action turns regular images into posters that look as though they were printed in the 70s or 80s.
It comes with action, brush and pattern files.
The creator recommends using images between 2,000 and 4,000px.
16. Animated Retro Vintage Film
This is one of the best vintage Photoshop actions to use to apply vintage effects to videos and animated GIFs.
You can use it to apply a number of different effects to your projects, including black-and-white and vintage color tones, camera shakes, vintage screen glitches, and more.
Each action is well layered and structured, so they’re easy to customize.
The action has been tested on images between 250 and 2,500px.
17. Vintage Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action makes it look as though your images were drawn as sketches from the 19th century or earlier.
To use it, all you need to do is brush over the area you want the vintage sketch effect to appear at.
It comes with one action file and one brush file.
18. Retro Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action does a few things to your photo to make them look old and weathered.
First, it applies black-and-white color tones and different hues to your images.
It also adds white tear effects here and there to make your images appear damaged.
Lastly, it has the ability to add film edges on both sides of your image, like in a traditional roll of film.
This action comes with one action file and one pattern file.
This is another collection of vintage Photoshop actions, except this one also includes versions for Lightroom.
There are 15 vintage effects in this collection, each of which are designed to give your images a vintage appeal while still making them appear modern.
20. Faded Duotone Photoshop Action
This Photoshop collection comes with 20 actions that apply different color tones to your image.
One of those is a sepia tone.
So, while this isn’t a dedicated vintage action, it does have the ability to apply a vintage effect to your photos.
21. Retro Halftone Photoshop Action
This Photoshop action applies a retro glitch effect to your photos.
It does this by applying a few different effects, including a blue, offset double of your subject, a reddish color tone, and grainy, VHS-like textures across the entire photo.
The action uses well-organized layers, so you can customize everything to your liking.
The creator recommends using photos with a resolution of around 5,000 x 2,500px or 72 DPI.
It comes with one action file and one pattern file.
22. Vintage Glow Photoshop Actions
This is another collection that features subtle yet effective photo effects for you to add to your images while still making them appear modern.
It comes with eight vintage Photoshop actions that come with retro color tones and soft glow effects.
You can use all eight effects by playing the action once.
Even so, each action comes with minimalistic layers that are fully editable.
Final Thoughts On Retro & Vintage Photoshop Actions
If you’re not sure which retro Photoshop actions to use for specific projects, consider the result you want to achieve.
Do you want your images to look modern but have a few vintage effects here and there? Use an action that applies subtle effects to your image.
What decade are you drawing inspiration from? Choose an action that mimics photo styles from that era.
Who are your subjects? What will they be doing in these photos? Use an action that complements your setting.
Answering all of these questions can really do a lot to help you decide on an action for your project.
Our top pick is the 80s Retro Catalog Action.
This action applies photo effects similar to those seen around the 1980s to your image: a glow effect across the entire photo, soft blurs and more.
Plus, the single ATN file it comes in uses Smart Objects, so the file is well layered.
This gives you plenty of settings to tinker with so you can achieve the exact look you’re going for.
This action is free with an Envato Elements subscription.
All you need to do is start your 7-day free trial to access it.
Plus, a simple search of “vintage Photoshop actions” returns over 9,000 results on the platform, and your subscription comes with unlimited downloads of all of them.
So, if the actions we picked out don’t match your style, there are plenty more to pick from.
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