April 10, 2010


How to make a photo grungy in GIMP

This is a very simple method to making photographs grungy, but its also a good technique to have handy in your mind for any post-processing you might do in the future!


The finished JPEG

1. Hard Light Blend

  • Open your photo up in GIMP
  • Duplicate Layer
  • Set ‘Mode’/ ‘Blend’ to Hard Light (OPTIONAL: make them both Hard Light and move up the Original layer, might be slightly better quality later on!)

Blend: Hard Light (Click to view larger)

2. Noise

  • On the duplicated layer, go Filters –> Noise –> HSV Noise
  • Use similar settings as shown, you can decide how much noise is appropriate for your photo
  • Might take awhile to process…

Noise (Click to view larger)

3. Levels

  • To darken and saturate, go Colours –> Levels
  • Move the middle pointer towards the darker pointer, and then move the darker pointer back towards the middle:

Levels (Click to view larger)

4. Colour

  • Now add a New Layer, set Mode/Blend to Colour, and ~35% Opacity
  • Fill with this colour: bf8d07 (Yellow/Orange)

Colour (Click to view larger)

5. Vignetting

  • Add a New Layer, set Mode/Blend to Soft Light
  • Grab the Gradient Tool: Black FG only, Radial
  • Stroke from a corner and then inwards into the centre of the layer

Vignetting (Click to view larger)

6. De-Saturation

  • De-saturating the Original Layers could be interesting as well, but I thought the colour was needed here, there isn’t much anyway!

That’s it! This technique works best with already contrasty photographs, however it can still be applied to any photograph with some experimentation of the settings.

The Original Image:


The Original, pre-processed!

If you’d like to use these photographs please Contact Me!

Please comment below if you have any questions and I’ll answer them ASAP!

All images on this site are copyrighted© – All Rights Reserved.

Written by Mike

Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!
Read more from Featured, Gimp, Tutorials
11 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 27 2011

    Thanks Marian,

    It is always wonderful to hear that my tutorials are being used and liked :)



  2. Marian Adoranti
    Feb 27 2011

    Thanks so much for your very useful tutorials on the GIMP. I am a new GIMP user and an aspiring equine photographer. This is the first post-processing program I have used and find that with the help of your tutorials I am experiencing success. I now have a watermark which I created using your tutorial and also just tried my hand at my first grunge photograph.

    It is through your generosity that we are able to empower others to express their art in a meaningful manner. It’s actually fun too :-)


  3. Jul 22 2010

    Thanks Mark!

  4. Mark
    Jul 22 2010

    Hi, Just a quick note to say thanks for posting these tutorials. It would have taken me MANY months to work out how to get some of these effects. Your site is a real time saver. Nice one

  5. May 23 2010

    nice site I like and I sure to visit, well done :-]

  6. Apr 12 2010

    Very nice. I love to use GIMP and occasionally need to mess up my photos. This gives me a few more techniques to use.

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