Don't let the Japanese scare you away when you go to Bakumatsu Koshashin Generator's website: http://labs.wanokoto.jp/olds. They have a handy link to translate it to English, and from there it's a snap to use.
The service offered for free? Add an 'old picture effect' to your photos, either by uploading them to their website or directing them to the image link. It's sort of an Instagram effect, but it's so very cool and authentic looking. I wish I'd known about this before Halloween so I could have taken and posted some old timey, Gothic looking pics of my dolls.
You do have to upload your pictures to their server where you have to trust they are only stored temporarily, and trust that when you download the altered photo you're not getting anything you don't want on your computer. But I have good antivirus software on my machine, so I feel safe using this service. If someone else has heard of any issues, I'd appreciate hearing about it in the comments section. I'm not endorsing this service for anyone else or guaranteeing it is safe for anyone else, I am just sharing how excited I am with what I've done so far. For a free service, I'm very impressed, and willing to take a little risk for the end results.
Here are just a few pics I've applied this effect to. This is going to be a very addictive toy for me...
With this picture I toyed with the original photo's contrast, hue, and saturation several times before I got the result below. At first you couldn't even make out her face, but after several iterations, I finally got the contrast and hue on her lovely face stark enough on the original so that the effect applied turned out well. The fact she has dark brown hair, is wearing black, and sitting against a black backdrop both helped the effect, and made it challenging to get a good result.
As far as I could tell there's no limit to how many times you can use the "lab" for free, so I just kept trying! I love the final effect I got with this picture.
And my personal favorite so far, Fashion Royalty Veronique:
I didn't make any changes at all to the original photo. I had very good lighting on the original, and with Veronique's dark hair and makeup, the effect still lets you see her sharp features. This one definitely has that Gothic feel to it.