Learn how to create a filmic washed out and desaturated effect in Photoshop using Gradient Maps and Curves. It takes less than a minute to apply the technique, and is a fantastic effect for a wide range of images. The overall effect is similar to, but at the same time completely different to bleach bypass.
Washed out desaturation video tutorial
The tutorial uses Photoshop, but if you’re using Photoshop Elements you can use Levels instead of curves, and simply need to drag the black Output slider to the right until you achieve the desired effect. You can’t group Layers in Elements, so if you want to reduce the effect you’ll have to lower the Opacity of the two Layers individually rather than the Opacity of grouped Layers.
To see the before and after of the effect take a look at the image below. If you find the overall effect too strong you can group the Layers and reduce the Opacity of the group.
To check out more of my Photoshop video tutorials visit www.youtube.com/jamesabbottphoto