May
22

Toning black and white images

by
Hayley Paterek

Learn how to creatively colour tone your monochrome captures in just 5 easy steps using Photoshop

blue seascape
After
seascape
Before

Create more unique monochrome captures by toning them in Photoshop using the colour balance tool. Before you begin following our steps below, you’ll need to convert your captures to black and white. When you’re pleased with the conversion, follow along and find out how to colour tone your shots.

 Step 1

Toning black and white images
Step 1

Convert to monochrome – Add a Black and White adjustment layer using the button at the bottom of the Layers palette. Adjust the colour sliders to get a pleasing array of tones, or choose a preset from the drop-down menu.

 Step 2

Toning black and white images
Step 2

Increase contrast – Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer, ensure the Use Legacy box is unchecked and increase Contrast to suit. A setting of 80 works well with this shot but experiment with your own images.

 Step 3

Toning black and white images
Step 3

Dodge/Burn layers – Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Push Brightness to max with a single point. Invert the layer mask (the blank rectangle) with Cmd/Ctrl+I. Repeat a Brightness layer at min.

 Step 4

Toning black and white images
Step 4

Dodge and burn work – Pick a large, soft white brush at 20% opacity. Select the layer mask on the top layer and gradually build up the adjustment in areas that you think need darkening. Repeat with the layer below to lighten areas.

 Step 5

Toning black and white images
Step 5

Blue tint – Now it’s time to add some colour. Add a Colour Balance adjustment layer, leave the Midtones ratio button selected and use settings of -20 for Cyan/ Red and +25 for Yellow/Blue to add our blue tint.

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