Create a retro slide
Relive the golden era of the photo carousel projector by creating your own sliders in Photoshop.
Relive the golden era of the photo carousel projector by making your own sliders.
• Software Photoshop or Elements • Image type A holiday snap or family photo you’d like to frame for posterity
Aback in the old days before digital photography, we used to gather our friends and families together on the sofa, barricade the door and subject them to our holiday shots on a carousel slide projector. Nowadays we’re able to share our shots with the world at the touch of a button, but for those of you who are nostalgic for the days of film photography (and captive
audiences) it’ll no doubt be exciting to discover that there is a way to create a classic photo slide in Photoshop. It’s simple to do and will make your shots look pretty striking, especially to those people who remember the film days. Sadly, we can’t guarantee your family will sit through your entire portfolio, but it might just net you a few Facebook likes!
TIP Any Layer can be made to look like it’s below another if you add a drop shadow
1 Open your shots
Go to Fileopen in Photoshop or Elements, navigate to the Start Images and double-click your chosen slide template. Go to Fileplace in Photoshop and Elements (Fileplace
Embedded in Photoshop CC) and double-click on the image you want to place into the slide. Hit Ctrl+t to activate Free Transform and drag the corner handles to resize the shot so it’ll fit in the frame. Hit Enter when you’re done. Click on the eye icon next to the top Layer thumbnail in the Layers Panel to hide the image. Click on the Background Layer then activate the Quick Selection tool (W) and click on the hole in the slide to make a selection around it. Select the top Layer again and click the Add layer mask icon to hide part of the image that falls outside of the hole. Reduce the Layer’s Opacity to 20%.
2 Duplicate the Layer and create a shadow
With the the selection still active, hit Ctrl+j to duplicate the Layer. Change the Layer’s Blending Mode to Overlay and set the Opacity to 50%. This will make the slide looks more solid and vivid. Create a new Layer (Shift+ctrl+alt+n) and set the
Opacity to 40%. With a soft, black brush (B) paint around the edges of the image to create the shadow that would naturally be caused by the frame. Use [ and ] to resize your brush to keep the shadow small. The shadow will create the illusion that the landscape image (in our case) is slightly further from the lens that the cardboard case that’s containing it.
3 Create highlights to make the slide vivid
With the selection still active, create a new Layer (Shift+ctrl+alt+n) and with a soft, white brush (B). Paint four curved lines on the Layer to replicate the highlights that appeared on the reflective, slightly uneven surface of a slide. Reduce the Layer’s Opacity to 40%. Go to Filterblurgaussian Blur and input a value of 20px, then click OK Hit Ctrl+d to remove (or deselect) the selection. Click on the slide Layer to select it, then hit Ctrl+j to duplicate it. Drag it to the top of the stack, change the Blending Mode to Hard Light and reduce the Opacity to 40% to make the shot look more vivid, but still translucent.
4 Add a photo filter and save your shot
Go to Select Reselect to select the hole in the slide again. Click on the Create
new fill or adjustment layer icon and select Photo Filter. It’ll appear with a Layer Mask attached, which limits the effect of the Photo Filter on the slide and leaves the background untouched. Set the Filter to Warming Filter (81) and leave the Density on 25%. This will make the slide look a bit warmer, so it matches the background. Now you’ve done it once, try it again with one of the other templates in the Start Images folder. Even better, make a retro slide out of one of your own shots to give a cool, vintage look. When you’ve got a result you want to save, go to
File Save As and save it as a JPEG (.JPG) if you want to share it online, or as a Photoshop Document (.PSD) if you want to keep the Layers intact so you can tweak it to your heart’s content at a later date.
Before You can find a number of the slide templates in the Start Images folder. These retro slides would’ve been slotted into a carousel projector and displayed on a white screen or wall for enthralled groups of friends and relatives.