How to Add Grain To Your Photos For A Vintage Look

Vintage photography never seems to go out of style even with the technological advancements that we have now. We now have advanced cameras that take super high definition photos yet, most people still opt for the hazy, vintage aesthetics on their photos. The good news is that you no longer need to buy retro cameras to achieve that vintage look on your photos. You can easily make your photos look vintage - even if it’s taken by a digital camera - by adding grain on your photos. 

Why should you add grain to your photos?

Before we go to the why, I'll discuss what grain is and what it does to your photos. Grain is basically the little particles or specks that we see in photos. It’s a technical imperfection that adds more texture and depth to your photos since it makes it look more “real” as compared to super sharp photos. Adding grain to your photos also gives it that old and retro look. It makes your photos look more vintage as if it was taken decades ago.

How to add Grain to your photos?

Now that you know what grain is and what it does to your photos, we’ll teach you how to add grain to your photos. There are tons of online sites that offer to add grain to your photos with the use of filters. A quick Google search of “how to add grain to photos online” will yield thousands of sites that offer it either for free or with a fee. For now, we’ll focus on one of the most used apps when editing photos -- Adobe Lightroom.

It’s pretty straightforward when adding grain on photos using Adobe Lightroom. Here are the four basic steps on how to add grain:

  1. Go to the Effects tab in the Develop Module. Frome there, you will see the Grain settings. The Grain settings has three settings - amount, size and roughness.
  2. Adjust the Grain amount using the slider. It can be set to a value from 0 to 100, with 0 having no Grain at all. You can set the amount based on your preference and the mood of your photo. Be careful though as to not go to extremes as having a Grain amount of 100 will result in a very grainy photo.
  3. The next slider is the Grain size. As the name suggests, this sets the size of the grain on the photo. A good practice is looking at the full-sized photo when adjusting the Grain size so that you can see the effect that it has on the photo as a whole.
  4. The last slider under Grain settings is the Grain roughness. This is where you set the softness or sharpness of the grain. The default value for this is 50 and it gives your photo that “natural” grain look. Of course, you can experiment with the grain roughness. You can move the slider to the left to get a softer grain, or you can also move it to the right for a much sharper grain.

If you're new to Adobe Lightroom, this might seem a lot to take in since you have to think of the grain amount, size and roughness that would work for your photos.This might also take up a lot of your time since you’ll be experimenting with the perfect settings for your photos. Here’s the thing, what if I told you that you can save a lot of time and still have the perfect grain for your retro vibes photos? Here at, we like to make your editing a whole lot easier.


We have the Vintage Lightroom Presets and the 1985 Lightroom Presets for that perfect retro aesthetic.

Vintage Presets

The Vintage Lightroom Presets gives your photo the right amount of grain partnered with the perfect warm brown color palette for that #classic look.

Vintage Presets

The 1985 Lightroom Preset on the other hand gives your photos warm tones with a pop of color. Just because it’s retro doesn’t mean it can’t have color or it has to be dull. 

If you take a lot of photos and like to switch between different vibes and aesthetics, then our Master Preset Collection is perfect for you. It contains all our 113+ presets that are compatible with iOS, Android & Desktop (Windows & Mac), the best part is that it’s a lot cheaper than buying our presets packs individually. Easily achieve that vintage aesthetic with
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