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Split Tone Color in Photoshop for Black & White Images

Lesson 21 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

Split Tone Color in Photoshop for Black & White Images

Lesson 21 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

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Lesson Info

21. Split Tone Color in Photoshop for Black & White Images


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Advantages & Pitfalls of Printing


Demystifying Color Management


Understanding Bit Depth


Best Color Space to Work In


Importance of Image Capture


Live Shoot: Natural Light


Live Shoot: Studio Lights


Lesson Info

Split Tone Color in Photoshop for Black & White Images

In a previous session, we talked about Blend If modes and isolating a certain area. So what I want to do now is make the highlights just stand out a little bit more in the image or the brighter tones. The way I'm gonna do that is with Blend If modes. So I'm gonna create a curves layer, okay? And what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna label it highlights, or HL is my abbreviation for highlights. And I'm gonna double-click onto this, onto the layer itself, to bring up our Layer Style. Now remember what we learned from the previous lesson about blending modes is that this is an adjustment layer, so we are gonna be applying this change to the underlaying layer. So we basically want a curves layer that deals with the brighter tones of the image. So I'm gonna push this across to about 80 or thereabouts. Hit the Alt key on the keyboard to separate that little flag, which gives us the transition, gives us the feathering right through to the tonal range that we really want. So we bring it right down t...

o 255. We hit OK. And then what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna leave the curve as it is, but I'm gonna change the blending mode. And the minute I change the blending mode to something like Screen, which is a lightening mode in Photoshop, okay, you see how the highlights are just ka-bow. I think it's genius. Just bring that back a little bit. So let's just bring that in a little bit more. So it's made our highlights a little bit brighter and it's given us that nice beautiful milkiness that we want across to where the skin is, okay? That's pretty good, just zooming in. Getting blind in my old age. Okay, so that's awesome. Okay, so we could bring the color information back, which we will, but then also with this, the color information, if we wanted a desaturated image, what we do is just decrease the amount of color that's already in the image, and we have this transitional color, black and white, but we can go a little bit further than that with the Blend If modes and tuning the image even more. So let's bring a warm highlight effect to this. And I'm gonna do this above the color layer, because if I do bring in the color information into the equation again, then it's gonna be sitting on top of the color layer, and it'll color the color information, which is what I, essentially what I really want. So hue saturation, okay, we're gonna hit Colorize, and we're gonna pick a nice warm tone, which is about there. And we're gonna call this our highlight tone. Okay, there it is. Double-click just on the outside of that to bring us into Layer Style. Once again, what is it? It is an adjustment layer. Underlaying layer is what we manipulate. Gonna move that to the side so we can see what's going on. We're gonna move that across, and there it is. It's going to look beautiful, and then Alt, and just feathering that out right to 255, altering the saturation of that just through, subtly through the highlight, okay? Now, at the moment, it's a tone black and white, but we can do a tone color print as well. And the way we do that is we introduce the color, right, with the color information being reduced, okay, and if I turn it on and off, you see how we're bringing a warm tone to the highlights. Now, let's switch the color information off, and let's bring an opposite or complementary color to the highlight, the warm highlight. Let's go for maybe a cyany blue kind of shadow. And let's go into hue and saturation again, Colorize. Let's deal with something around there, which I think will look pretty cool. Okay, double-click. And we're gonna take it the other way. We want our shadows, you see how it's being taken away from the highlight. Blend it through to shadow. So now we have this nice beautiful split tone. Let me just label that layer, and this is shadow tone, okay. And introduce the color information back. There we go. And reduce the opacity of the shadow tone to give us a nice beautiful toned image in color, okay, which looks pretty awesome, okay? And I can go back to my highlight layer here and just reduce the opacity of that ever so slightly. Just a little bit more just to lift it but not to the point where it's blowing up. So that's how we achieve that desaturated, you know, blue shadow, warm highlight kind of effect. And because these are adjustment layers, it's very dynamic. I can go back, I can adjust, I can increase saturation, I can decrease saturation, and so on.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Rocco's Photoshop Actions
Rocco's Printer Evaluation Files
Color & Luminosity Seperation Action

Ratings and Reviews

Roberto Valenzuela

I honestly consider many courses to be great, but optional. However, this course by Rocco Ancora is a MUST! It helps the photographer complete the circle of being a photographic artist. Our job doesn't end at the edit, it ends with the print. When your clients can hold and enjoy your creative vision physically, that is when the magic of being a photographer happens. I have been so fortunate to travel the world teaching and meeting some of the best photographers in the world. That being said, I can say with confidence that nobody can teach this combination of Photoshop retouching / fine-art printing better than Rocco Ancora. I believe in this class so much, I traveled to Seattle to attend this course to be part of the live studio audience. I have never done that before. But that's how important I consider this material to be. I am so happy I took the time to go and learn from the man himself. Now, I will get this course to watch it, dissect it, study it, and practice it. Very excited to see how the knowledge in this course will propel my career further. --Roberto Valenzuela

a Creativelive Student

I was fortunate enough to attend this class in person and got to experience Rocco's prints in person. The quality is absolutely breathtaking and a game changer, Learning these skills will really help my business in a number of ways. In the past, I have had a difficult time convincing clients to purchase typical lab prints through my studio, as opposed to buying them through Walmart or Costco where the quality was "close enough." Rocco's method that he shared in this class creates three dimensional images of unmatched quality and images that just jump off the page. The knowledge from this course will empower me to help run a sustainable business and thrive as a photographer. You would be foolish to not learn these methods and incorporate them into your business. Highly Recommend!!

April S.

I have invested time into learning Lightroom and Photoshop, my own gear, and my particular photographic style, but the one thing I am really lacking is a solid understanding about preparing an image for print, and the various print options (e.g., paper types). When I saw this course come up on the CL schedule it caught my eye immediately so I RSVP'd for the live broadcast. I was at work when it started and couldn't watch at that time. I do listen in from work sometimes, but after 2 minutes of listening to this course I realized it was one I really needed to watch closely and focus on. So, I stopped the stream after a couple minutes and bought the course. I have never done that before. I always wait and watch as much as I can in the initial broadcast (or rebroadcast) to decide if a course is one that I really should spend for. I knew right away though that Rocco was presenting the very information I was lacking and needed, and I wanted it! In addition, it was clear to me after looking him up online that he's a consummate professional with lots of experience and his delivery style even in just the couple of minutes that I listened reflected that. I already have X-rite ColorMunki Display and Colorchecker, a good monitor, and I have a photo printer (Canon Pixma Pro-100) but I'm lacking that technical understanding of color and know I'm not using my resources to their fullest. I use my Canon Pixma to test-print images before uploading to the print service I use. My method isn't ideal since the service uses different printers and ink, and paper depending on what I choose, but at least I have a much better idea of what my image file will give me in print form. After Rocco's course I believe I will be much better equipped to prepare my images and choose the options best suited to each image. I'll still test print if only because it's fun to see something on paper, but I expect the results I get from the print service to be much better once I really know how to put this knowledge to work for me.

Student Work