ROTATE AS A SQUARE
Although the Diana and Holga cameras were designed with square formats, this step is optional.

Select 1:1 from the size drop-down menu for the crop tool at the upper left before deleting the cropped pixels.

Position the square where you want to crop the photo.

Press Enter to apply the crop

 ADDING CONTRAST

This type of camera shoots a dense photo, let’s replicate that.

Copy the background layer (Ctrl/Cmd+J)

Change to Multiply blend mode and lower the opacity to 47% (set for your photo, they are all different)

Here is the result so far.

ADD A BLUR TO CHEAPEN THE LENS TO PLASTIC
There are other approaches, but this is the one I went with.

Option A: Pick the Background and Layer 1 layers, then combine them into one layer. If you need to accomplish it quickly, you could merge them or make them into a smart object.

Option B (what I did): Choose Background and Layer 1 as your two layers. Press Cmd/Option/Shift+E (on Windows, Ctrl/Alt/Shift+E). This creates a composite layer (or visible stamp, if that’s what you like to call it).

Choose Filter>Blur Gallery>Iris Blur

I made a very subtle blur around the edges, you could go a bit stronger if you like.

If you don’t have CS6 or Photoshop CC, just use a Gaussian blur instead.

ADD A COLOR CAST

These cameras don’t take very accurate colors, so lets add a color cast.

In the Adjustment layers in the Layers panel, choose Solid Color

Select a bluish green color, not quite aqua, slightly more on the green side

Change to Color blend mode and drop the opacity way down. Here I used 10%

The result so far. Right now it looks very Instagram. You could actually stop here for certain effects, but for the the toy camera, we will continue.

ADDING LIGHT LEAKS IN PHOTOSHOP

One of the hallmarks of the Holga was a poorly sealed back which allowed light leaks to tarnish the film. This is also one of the awesome things about it.

Create a new layer

Choose a large soft brush and set the color to red.

Paint around the edges in a random way to simulate the light leaks

Change the blend mode to Overlay (Or soft or hard light, depending on the desired look).

You will see the other layers are now nested, so we can apply a filter to them all at once.

Choose Filter>Camera Raw

(NON CC users, do this from Bridge and you can now join us in the rest of the steps)

Choose the fx tab: Go to Post Crop Vignette and enter similar settings

We have added a thin dark vignette around the border.

FINAL TOUCHES

Don’t close out of Camera Raw just yet. (These next 2 steps are optional)

Under curves, add a little bit of contrast with a slight S curve as shown

Just for a bit of color fun, increase the Saturation slightly and lower the Vibrance

WRAPPING IT UP

Just for appearances and variety, try changing the light leaks layer to Soft Light. Depending on your photo, it may look better, try color, hard light or overlay as well. Each photo is unique and sometimes a different variation will look better.

And here is the final image!

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