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
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.
The Elements assets are hand selected and reviewed, so you can spend less time searching for files and more time on the project at hand.
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.
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 is another pack of film light leaks 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 touch of the modern side of your photos. Try them out! They're a nice substitute for a free light leak overlay for Photoshop.
Free Light Leak Actions
If you're looking for free light leak overlays for Photoshop, I've created a roundup of 15 of the best free light leaks and styles from around the web.
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 for how to use any of the free light packages for Photoshop.
This free light package for Photoshop includes five actions.
There are 71 free Photoshop overlays for photographers included in this pack.
Try out the ten actions in this free light package for Photoshop.
Friabrisa is a cool option if you've been hunting for free light leaks online.
The pstutorialsws free film burn effect for Photoshop has a very authentic, realistic look.
Here's a pack of five Photoshop leaks that are free to download and use.
Spoon Graphics has a huge pack of 15 free Photoshop overlays for photographers.
Photography Planet has released this pack of light streak Photoshop actions for free.
Try out this light streak Photoshop action for free. An email address is required.
This subtle 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 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 Do-it-Yourself is more your speed, then you'll love this film burn effect for Photoshop tutorial. 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.
How do you build a Photoshop light leak look? Let me know in the comments.
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