The vintage film look has made its comeback in force with free light leaks! The light leak effect was commonly created by openings (leaks) in film cameras. Light trickling through the body would prematurely expose film, leading to some brilliant looks in the final photo.
Light leaks commonly show as bands of bright, colorful streaks over the top of your image.
As the film style has made its way into the digital era, so too have simulated light leaks! In this tutorial, I'll show you a combination of free and premium light leak photo overlays in Adobe Photoshop.
Download Light Leak Photoshop Actions and Overlays
If you want to create realistic effects with a light leak photo overlay, check out what Envato Elements has to offer. Envato Elements is an all-you-can-download creative buffet of assets, templates, and graphics for your projects.
Elements' assets are hand selected and reviewed, so you can spend less time searching for files and more time on the project at hand. This means you'll find some of the best light leak Photoshop actions and overlays available online.
Elements includes an impressive collection of light leaks for Photoshop. If you purchase a subscription to Elements, you can download and keep Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, and so much more. Plus, there's no tie-in contract and you can cancel your subscription anytime.
Check out these film light leaks, included with an Elements subscription:
If you want a pack of light leaks for Photoshop, we recommend the FilterGrade series. This pack includes 20 film light leaks. There's also a useful help file if you don't know how to install actions. It's hard to match this quality with a free light package for Photoshop.
Here's another pack of film light leaks for Photoshop from FilterGrade. It also has 20 Photoshop leaks that work with a single click. On top of the free support and updates, you can also find video tutorials to get you started with your film burn effect for Photoshop.
Need a light leak photo overlay? How about 15 of them? This Photoshop leaks pack also includes bokeh effects for eye-catching photo edits. These film light leaks add a retro touch without losing the modern side of your photos. Try them out!
15 Free Light Leak Actions
Looking for light overlays in Photoshop for free? I've created a roundup of free light leak overlays for Photoshop. These links are a mix of actions (one-click styles to add light leaks) and light leak photo overlays, which are images you overlay on top of your own photo. Check the instructions on each page to find out how to use any of the free light packages for Photoshop.
Looking for a cool light leak overlay for Photoshop? This free light package for Photoshop includes five actions. Add a film burn overlay in Photoshop to your photos.
There are 71 free Photoshop overlays for photographers included in this pack.
Try out the ten actions in this free light package for Photoshop. With this free resource, you can also create cool light leak textures.
Friabrisa is a cool option if you've been hunting for free light leaks online. It also works as a cool film light leak overlay.
Looking for a film burn overlay for Photoshop? The pstutorialsws free film burn effect for Photoshop has a very authentic, realistic look.
Here's a pack of beautiful overlays for Photoshop that are free to download and use. This could work as a cool film light leak overlay.
Looking for a film light leak overlay? Get this set of 46 free Photoshop overlays for photographers.
Photography Planet has released this pack of light streak Photoshop actions for free. You'll get a nice light leak texture in your photos.
Try out this light streak Photoshop action for free. An email address is required to download it.
Get this light leak overlay for Photoshop if you want a subtle effect. It looks like a cool film burn overlay in Photoshop. This light streak Photoshop action is free from the link above.
If you want Photoshop leaks for free, check out this option from Loaded Landscapes.
The artistic results of this free light streak Photoshop action make your photos look great.
You can download 12 free Photoshop overlays for photographers from the link above.
CoffeeShop has another excellent free light leak overlay for Photoshop with this one.
This pack of free light leaks is from Creative Tacos. The quality is great for free actions.
Make Your Own Film Burn Effect in Photoshop
If DIY is more your speed, then you'll love this film burn effect for Photoshop tutorial. Creating Photoshop light leak textures and effects isn't as hard as you think. Envato Tuts+ can walk you through the steps of creating an awesome light leak effect on your own. You can also find it as a video guide from our YouTube channel.
Recap & Keep Learning
This tutorial helped you find some of the best-looking and easiest-to-use premium and free light leak overlays for Adobe Photoshop.
If you want to try out other creative styles for your images with actions, check out these tutorials:
- Here's a great 60-second tutorial to get started with Photoshop actions.
- Melody Nieves has an amazing tutorial on how to create a sketch style action in Photoshop.
- Check out Indranil Saha's tutorial on How to Create a Wet Glass Action.
Keep learning how to create Photoshop light leaks and other effects, and find plenty of resources for your next creative project here:
- How to Make a Light Leak Preset in LightroomAndrew Childress30 Jul 2020
- 100+ Awesome Photoshop Effects TutorialsGrant Friedman13 Aug 2022
- How to Create a Light Leak Photoshop ActionMarko Kožokar15 May 2019
- How to Create a Light Leak Effect In Adobe Photoshop (With Actions)Envato Market20 Jul 2017
- 20 Best Photoshop Actions With Cool Art Effects for PortraitsMarie Gardiner17 Apr 2022
- 50+ Best Free Photoshop Actions of 2023Nona Blackman13 Dec 2022
- 30+ Best New Photoshop Actions & Photo Effects (Updated for 2023)Melody Nieves03 Jan 2023
- 25 Cool Photoshop Watercolor Effects & Filters With TextureMelody Nieves22 Feb 2023
- 10 Best Print-Inspired Halftone Effects (Color and Black-and-White) for PhotoshopAndrew Childress31 Jul 2022
Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Janila Castañeda. Janila is a staff writer with Envato Tuts+.