Lomo Effect Tutorial in Lightroom

The signature look from an old Russian film camera called a Lomo LC-A is blurry edges, a sharp center, very saturated colors, and lots of vignetting. Even if you don’t own a Lomo camera, you can achieve this iconic look. Aaron Nace teaches you how to take an image and add a cool Lomo effect to it in Lightroom:

You can use RAW or JPEG files for this; it will work just as well on both. Nace talks us through the process.

  1. Use radial gradients to make the image edges darker and grittier. Select the Radial Gradient tool and be sure to uncheck the Invert Mask option. Make a rather large selection so that mostly the corners of the image are affected, and lower the exposure of the gradient and add some color. Nace chooses greenish-yellow and magenta, but you can use whatever color you prefer.
add vignette in lightroom

Add a vignette using the radial gradient tool.

  1. Add graduated filters for even more emphasized vignetting. Add a graduated filter to each corner, and bring down the exposure and add colors. Nace suggests making the corner vignettes uneven to replicate the look of a cheap film camera.
graduated filters

Use graduated filters to darken the corners.

  1. Add color to the highlights and shadows by using split-toning. Under the Split-Toning panel, bump up the saturation and choose a hue. Once you’ve chosen a color, adjust the saturation to your liking. Do this for both shadows and highlights.
split-toning in lightroom

Use split toning to add color to the highlights and shadows.

  1. Add yet more vignetting with the Post-Crop Vignetting sliders under the Effects panel.
  2. Use film grain to replicate the retro look. Add grain using the Grain sliders under the Effects panel.
lightroom grain sliders

Add grain to the image.

  1. Use the Lens Correction panel to adjust the distortion. For the Lomo look, you want the image to look sharp in the center and distorted at the edges. Under the Lens Correction panel, click on Manual and use the sliders to adjust the distortion. Check the Constrain Crop box to keep the image inside your frame.
  2. Blur the edges of the image to make it look sharper in the center. Use a radial filter in the center of the image and drag the Clarity slider to the left.

lomo effect

Once you have the image where you want it, you can make a preset of all your adjustments so you can recreate the look in the future with just one click.

If you’ve ever fancied taking one of your plain images and seeing how different it would look with a Lomo effect, you’ll want to try this out!

For further help with photo editing: Luminar 2018 Pre-Order Ending Soon

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