Photo Effect: Creating The Gritty, Trendy, High-Contrast, and Desaturated Look

Here’s my shortest tutorial to date. It’s a quick video showing you the highly requested technique that gives photos a trendy, gritty, high-contrast, and desaturated look.

You’ve probably seen a similar grungy effect in movie posters and advertisements.

The effect is quite simple. We’ll only use two adjustment layers and one filter. One of those adjustment layers is the “Color Lookup” adjustment layer found in Photoshop CS6 or newer.

I will also show you an alternative way of creating this effect, in case you are in Photoshop CS5 or older.

I’d love to hear your questions or comments, so leave them below.

Also, feel free to share your results! Please leave them in the comments section or on my Facebook page.

Final Image

Drag The Slider To See Before & After

Similar Posts

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bojan Živković

Thanks for sharing all this nice and easy to follow tips. You rock!

Bojan Živković

You deserve support and attention from Photoshop community, great work, keep going!


Looks like the Dragan effect


Fantastic. Life made easy!


Very nice, Jesús. Thanks for showing us this trick and especially the tip about how to get around using the LookUp Color filter for those of us with older versions of Photoshop. Good Luck against New Zealand. Looks like y’all will need it! 😉


sorry, Lookup color adjustment… not filter.