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Split Toning

Lesson 35 from: Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

35. Split Toning

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Lesson Info

Split Toning

what split plutonium is generally designed to do what I should say what it's used for the most is if you convert an image to black and white and you don't want it to be just black and white would like it to have a hint of color you can use it so if you want to convert an image to black and white one method for doing so is at the very top of the basic panel there's just a choice called black and white you want a color picture or black and white one and if I click there it'll take all the color out there are more controls behind that which we'll talk about soon but then I could come down here to the choice called split toning and this will allow me to sneak a hint of color back into the picture not color that was in the original just color I'm going to make up here and if you look at the settings in here we're goingto be able to put a different color in the highlights then we put into the shadows so when I'm in here what I can do is choose the hue which means the basic color I'm going to...

put in the highlights when I move this around nothing's goingto happen yet because this is going to tell it what color to use but the slider below that tells it how strong it should be in its zero right now so you don't see any of the color there's a little trick though and that is if you hold down the auction key ultima windows when you move the huse slider it will act as if the saturation has been turned all the way up so it'll be very easy to see what color your choosing so I have the option key held down right now and I think over here and see what would it look like with various colors so I'm gonna go for that one then I let go and it's only because I had the option key held down that I really saw the intense color now I can choose how much of the color I want with a saturation slider and I'll just look at the image and say how much color would look appropriate in there go for that then for the dark part of the picture I can choose a different color by choosing hugh and again I could hold on the option key when I grab it and this time I'll move it around and thinking only about the dark portion I'm going to go for this kind of bluish then I can adjust saturation to control how strong it is then finally there is a choice called balance which means where do the highlights end and the shadows began his it balanced where that's unequal amount if I grab this and move it what's going to happen is the blue is either going to extend further into the highlights or a move in the opposite direction the yellow will extend further into the shadows so if I grab this I can control the way to the left the blues getting everywhere way to the right the yellow is getting everywhere and I can choose the balance between the two yeah the other thing about split toning is if you don't like moving a hue slider in a saturation slider instead you've seen a color on somebody else's website and you'll love it you like you love their black and white pictures there is also a little rectangle here in here and if I remember correctly I can click on it and I get a color picture and if you click within this color picker you khun then drag anywhere on your screen including my little logo over here or somebody else's website if you can fit it on the screen in grab a color out of theirs to steal the color that they use that you love so much but you have one of those squares for both highlights and for shadows what could be really nice if you spent some time creating that in creating a few looks that you like let's say I really like this look and then the only thing I have to do with this is I don't like how hot the highlights are so I might come up to my basic adjustments the image hasn't been adjusted yet just bring the highlights down a little bit maybe adjust my contrast a little but what I would do is after I gotta look that I like so I don't have to remember how to do it later credit preset resets and so right here you see benz bmw toning that means that I have some toning presets all come in here and create a new one though just get the plus sign here and I'll just call this one what ah yellow blue and I'm gonna put it in the folder called benz bmw tony so that's where I know that they are down here I'll choose check none and then I look through here and say where the heck is the choice that says split toning there it is that's the only thing that's in my presets so doesn't mess up any other settings that have been applied to a picture and I'm going to hit create I already have one combat um okay I'll call it that too so now if I ever want to get that look in the future I only need to know how to make it once and you see here I have some presets what's really nice about the presets is you have to preview above so if you just mouse over them you can see all sorts of different looks and you can just add to them each time you need to use split tony on a different picture now that's what split town is generally designed around and that that's where everybody was asking for it but I find it to be overly useful for other things too not just black and white so sure I got some black and whites the reason that's got a warm feeling because the split tony this has got a slightly warm feeling due to split toning but this also is using split toning and it might be somewhat it's subtle but let me turn off here it is without it is really subtle I know how much you're going to be able to tell overdo it so you might be able tell mme or this is what it looked like when I was done processing this image and I wanted to get a little more color I could have used like white balance or saturation to do it but I didn't want too much color down and here so I turned on split tony and if you watch this general area here you might see it it gets a little bit warmer in there a little bit more orange ish but what I'm doing here is I'm pushing this color right here you see that that's when it's intense into the highlights but then I'm pushing a cool color into the shadows to try to limit how much of the oranges feel is down here if I simply turned them up further you might get a better sense for it's not that one the saturation for what they're doing now if I turn off and on it might be a little bit more obvious I also use this quite a bit to compensate for changes that I've made um with the what you call it vibrant slider remember how vibrance darkens blues and makes them more colorful that's part of what it does well if you ever have an area that's in the shade and you push up your vibrant setting you'll often find that your shadows down and here we'll just get to be way too blue and so let me see I'll actually to try to force this wanted to have a little more of it so it's easier to see in psych sure my vibrance is up we'll even bring up saturation I'm just trying to make it more obvious and I'm going to turn on split tony unless he can you see if you can tell but there's a good amount of blue in the shadow and if I want to compensate for it I'll turn on split toning in every color has an opposite and the opposite of blue is yellow and so if I set this to yellow and told to put it in my shadow so just pick it yellow and then I bring up this it's going to be absorbing the blue can you see that in the dark part of the do and I know it's sometimes hard to see in the dark portions but I find that oftentimes I'm able to get the shadows of my image to not be over blue but just pushing some yellow in if I've turned up the vibrance quite a bit and that is split toning it's pushing color into the bright or dark portions of the image used a lot for black and whites but I use it justus much for color in fact that one of the sydney opera house originally I used on a hit on that what was in color so here is my sydney opera house if I were to optimize this picture let's say when I was done with it for some reason I just felt that the brightest part of the picture just needed some warmth to it it just felt too neutral like over here the highlights hold on option key to pick what color would look best and then bring up saturation decide exactly how much and then balance to say how far should it go into the image and if you can see that all that much but it's getting that highlights to have a more of a warm field question yes would you use this process if you want to do selective color selective color um when I think of selective color I think of like I have a picture there's red rose it I want the red rose and color I want everything else black white and that's not what I'd end up using for that what I would use for selective color is I would start with something known as h s l which we could do next and if that wasn't able isolated enough I would go to the adjustment brush with the adjustment brush you can turn the saturation all the way down and paint that inn where he had like so let's look at h s l uh h s lf you look in the list here just as h s l that stands for hugh saturation and lightness and I'm going to get it so these panels I can only show one at a time I thought I had it set that way earlier but somehow got turned off but if you come over here and uh option click on one of these triangles it turns into not a solid come not a solid white triangle but a dotted one and that means that if I click on one it'll automatically close the other one I was working on previously and it makes it so it's not quite as cluttered when it comes teo working with ease but here's hs sell when you look at it we have four choices across the top hugh means basic color if I want to change the basic color of everything that's in my picture if I have a blue sky and I want it to be more of a science guy I would go to this slider if I have I don't know I have green grass in the green grass is in the green enough it looks too yellow grabbed this slider moving around his hugh means basic color and this means changed the basic color of everything that used to be greenish or used to be bluish purplish saturation means how colorful I move these towards the right things that used to be red will become more colorfully red we went to the left and things would become less red and so this is one place where you could get selective color just turn all these down to zero except for the one color that you want to keep in your picture and have a preset for that for every one of these things so that I can very quickly apply it then we have luminant in luminous is just a fancy word for brightness and so here I can brighten her dark and the red things in the other shades one of the things I will frequently need to do if I don't have a huge blue sky in my photo and I increased vibrant vibrant always likes to dark and blue things even if it's a blue car and not a blue sky because it always thinks it's the sky is I will often need to take the slider for blue luminescence and turn it up to save brighten up those blue things because lightman gets to be a little too aggressive then the choice called all all that does that shows you all three of these at once stacked up in a row so that if you were clicking through a bunch of images and you wanted to see all the settings that were being applied you could see him in one plans instead of having to see them individually by clicking on those choices now there's a special thing in here and that is in light room there's a donut yep there's a donut it's right there and what that don't it does is if I come in here in click on it let's say I do it next to the word lou eminence now it means that if I moved my mouse on top of the image and click it's going to do something related to this section of the adjustment so let's see what happens if I come over here and click on this red object I haven't even clicked yet indeed notice it's highlighted the number next to red if I move over here it highlights the number next to yellow in other things but I could click and then I could drag up and down and you see it's actually moving that slider not only that it's not moving just one slider it thinks that this object that I have clicked on is mainly red but it has a hint of orange too and so it's moving the orange slider a little bit less and so I could come in here and fine tune every color that's in here brighten and dark ing it because I'm working on the luminous or I can click on the donut next to saturation and now when I click and drag in the picture I could make things more colorful or less colorful but dragging up her down and I could do that to each individual color in here and then of course I could do the same thing with you which is going to change the basic color of everything that's here so if I don't like the exact shade of yellowish green this is I can click on it moving up or down and I can shift it more towards the yellowish or more towards a greenish and fine tune it it's not going to affect on ly that object though it's affecting every object that's that color because it's just figuring out what slider to move over here and reflects the whole image but I could come over here and fine tune all this stuff really dial in what I like and then you usually have it separated in the hugh saturation or lou eminence so that you don't have to see it if one really long list but that little icon there that looks like it don't you have to click on first otherwise if you haven't when you move out here it just thinks you want to zoom when you click instead of doing something related to that adjustment so that's h s l and somebody had talked about doing a selective black and white well let's do a selective black and white right now in fact I think I'm a preset for that over here if I could just figure out where I stored it uh might be under color tweaks here's no aqua no blue you know certain colors this will get rid of one particular color with these and then down below that and by the way you get these presets with the class if you get it not that it's a big deal you can make him yourself but it saves time but here is on ly the aqua is on ly the blues you'll see it up in the preview above but if I click on it here's only blue in aqua can you see a few blue objects in there or I'll say only the cool colors or only the magenta as reds and oranges and so we could do that kind of change very quickly if you spent a little bit of time making your pre sets it makes it so it's very quick because if you don't have the preset you gonna sit here and move so many sliders it could be a little bit of a pain then we go in my history though to make sure don't mess up this image too much here so any time you get an image where there's just something about it you don't like you know the oranges and the reds don't separate enough well go to the he's slider here you've a slaughter for orange a slide of her red and see if you can get over here and get the reds may be even more red and then take the oranges and see if you can get himto separate a little bit by moving these in opposite directions and then you have yellows with the yellows in there see if you can get those but you confined tune what you have here but don't get stuck a lot of people get stuck thinking on ly about one choice like you you also got saturation and luminant so go in there and say maybe the reds need to be a little bit less colorful and the oranges need to be more colorful and maybe in lieu eminence the greens they need to be darker and the reds a swell break those oranges brighter so you can really find too and your image is if you feel you need teo and you go to history and you get an idea of what it is you've done so let's go up here history and just watch the review up there and you could see the kind of changes I was making and I'll click on imports you can see the difference between the original which is this and what I just did which is that see how much separation there is now between reds and oranges now you do need to be careful when you're thinking about color there's a hole area of color that you don't want to think about but sometimes you have to and that is your screen is only capable of displaying a certain range of colors the cheaper your monitor is usually the more limited that ranges the closer you will be to arrange known assess rgb the more expensive your monitor is you'll start seeing in advertisements where it says displays ninety eight point six percent of adobe rgb you know and it just means that it could display more vivid colors than the amore inexpensive monitors so how do I know when I look at my screen if there's an issue with the colors in there is that an issue that my monitor just can't showing what's in the file or is it a issue with the file itself because what can happen is if you make an area overly saturated that that area will suddenly start to lose detail you'll see like where there used to be the texture of the weave of fabric here here you see the weave of fabric if I crank up the saturation high enough you might find that suddenly right there can you see the way of a fabric anymore what happens is once the saturation reaches one hundred percent meanest high's it could go if you push it any higher the detail just starts going away well that detail when you see it starting to go away could either happen because you move that side or too high or it could happen because you moved that color and made it more colorful than what your monitor khun show you but the file itself is still fine how the heck could you find that out well there is something we could do only some of you will find this useful but it's good to know it's in there but it's something you just don't like having to think about when you're in the developed module at the bottom of your screen you are going to find a check box called soft proofing soft proofing in general means let's simulate what other a different device would look like but let's simulate it on this device imagine I soft proof newspaper well think about how bad pictures look in the newspaper compared to a magazine or your screen they don't look anywhere near as good the paper is not white it's dull paper and so if I had tried to simulate the newspaper it shouldn't be able to show me something that's white is that this should look as bright as newsprint is that paper that they print on which is kind of a greyish brown ish but that should start looking that way if I told you to do that so I can turn on soft proofing and when I do watch what happens right below the hist a gram on the right side of my screen you see some stuff show up over there over here I can tell it what device should I have it simulate there's something called a profile just like we can have a profile that describes how your camera distorts things like we had when we had profile corrections well you can have a profile for your printer that describes how your printer distorts the colors in your oven shifts them around I usually print to an eps and three thousand and so because that's installed in my machine that's what I use when I print it shows up here I could click here and if I had some others I could load them there's a choice here called other and if you have any others listed you can tell it which ones to show up but I am what I am going in here I'm usually preying on premium luster for a good amount of stuff that I do so I haven't mainly showing that one and over here it's a simulate paper and ink so imagine that we were simulating newsprint in newspaper well if it's going to simulate the paper and the ink it would have to make the highlights darker to make it look as dark as the paper we're putting on that type of stuff I turned that off you'll see you'll have more contrast in your image when you turned on but here's what you get extra that can help you in the history graham do you see these this little guy here and this little guy here this guy khun tell you if it's your monitor messing things up for your picture if you mouse over that and then just boss away mouse over it do you see blue getting over laid on top of the picture when I have my mouse on top of it those air areas where your picture contains colors that your computer screen is incapable of showing meaning you're not accurately seen what's in the picture in those spots let's see that those areas are more colorful than what your screen can show doesn't mean you're file can't contain him it just means you got a screen that can't show that vivid of a color so if something looks really weird in the file right there where it looks like there's no detail but when I mouse over here it's covered in blue he could be my screens fall saying hey it's not doing it or if the color just looks a little off there where it's mellower than it should be because my screen's not capable of it if I move my mouth over on the right side where it looks like a document icon instead that's going to show you where my printer would not be able to reproduce that color and it would end up putting let me make this overly colorful should look ridiculous now uh ignore what it's saying here let's see I'm going to do and I want to make it a proof created proof coffee because I don't want to mess up the original anyway I'll go over here now if I mouse over do you see colors being put on top of the image red colors that's where my printer would not be able to reproduce those colors and we'd have to shift them because it would shift them to the most vivid version it could print but that's because I've made the colors absolutely ridiculous so if you ever see an issue in your picture and you're not sure is that color going to be principal or not how far could I move the saturation slaughter before that color becomes more vivid than what could be printed you could mouse over this and see what part of the image is going to be shifting when you print you can even click on that and it'll stay turned on uh if you don't have it clicked on it's only when you hover over it that you can see it but you have one for your monitor which usually puts blew on it and one for your printer which puts red on it and that's where it's out of gamut meaning out of the gamma is just the range of colors you can print that it means this is more vivid than that some people would end up modifying their pictures then to try to get it all in gambling maybe they'll go to the h s l slaughters and state which reds that it's having problems with and they tweak the color of the red and the intensity the red to get it within the range but this is only going to show up all those controls over there when you're in the developed module and when you've turned on a check box of the bottom called soft proofing soft proofing means simulate the look of a different device I would do it here on screen and you can uh take a look at like I said it's not all that exciting good they put it in there though all right so they're not that many other things when it comes to those side menus but there are a couple let's take a quick look at the area called effects with the facts we have vignette ing it's called post crop vignette ng though there's two different places where you find vignette ing one was under lens corrections there was a slider here called vignette ing there's another one on your manual called vignette ing but know that that's designed to compensate for your lens it's not designed for a special effect I can see if I can show you the difference on this image if I go to any of the choices under lens corrections it's always going to think about the original cropping of your picture if I take glenn's been yelling and I change it to darken the picture if I've end up cropping the picture previously it's not going to be centered anymore so if I come up here to my crop do you see my actual cropping on this picture so if it is done under lens corrections it always brightens her darkens the corners of the original cropping of the picture well let's say I cropped him down to this now if we use the lens corrections feature and it ends up darkening based on the original cropping of the picture I'm on and I can see it happening because we're cropped in so tight choose on dukes I don't want to mess that up and instead lens corrections is exactly for that correcting for problems with your lens if on the other hand I wanted dark in the corners of my picture for an effect too then I want to go under effects and that's where we find post crop vignette ing that makes sense that means after we crop let's think of the corners now as the cropped corners not the original corners and therefore this is much more effective if what you're looking to do is darken your image on the edges to get people's attention to stay in towards the middle with this we have some settings we could take a look at them briefly we have a mount which is how much you want to brighton or darken the edges because if you move in the opposite direction you could brighten the other settings we have midpoint which is how far does it encroach into towards the center of the image we have roundness which is the shape that it's using feather which is how soft the edges and then highlights let me show you how to think about those better figure him out more when I grab something like midpoint and move it around you can sometimes tell what it's doing just by moving it back and forth but you're going to find it will be easier to figure out what it's stealing if you hold down the option key I have option held down right now that's ultima windows and what that does is when I click on this it acts as if the amount sliders turned all the way down meaning your darkening the image as much as you possibly could and therefore it's easier to see the effect of the mid point which is how far were coming in towards the middle of the picture when I let go then it brings the amount slider to where it actually was set whereas when I held option held down and acted as if it was turned all the way down darkening this images much is that possibly good so when I go to roundness and I move it around you can kind of see what it's doing but it's kind of hard to visualize so you hold on the option key and it's usually much easier to see what it's doing this looks like a rounded corner rectangle where is this looks more like a circle in the middle wei have feather which if I hold on again it's goingto show him which is how soft is that transition you could get a completely hard edge if you want and then I let go and it brings the amount backto work it was supposed to be then finally we have highlights what highlights dozens if we're darkening the edges of our picture but there's a really bright light coming through and hitting something in the scene it's gonna look artificial if we darken that it's just not going to look real so we have highlights and if highlights has turned all the way down it's not trying to compensate for them so it might end up darkening this area up a bit but watch that area when I bring up the highlights slider can you see the difference when I go back and forth there it's allowing the highlights to break through the darkening effect that's there so if there any important highlights especially things that are close to being speculum highlights meaning really shiny things like chrome without with the sun hane it reflects like a mirror you need to let those highlights usually break through the dark man effect you're putting in otherwise it looks fake it looks like you've been it finn yet in the picture instead of not noticing then finally at the top there's another setting you have the choice of three methods you could use to apply this the one called paint overlay I would almost never use that's just a legacy feature in an old version of light room that's the way it always worked there was no other choice and it didn't look all that good and people complained about it because it was just like putting black on top of your picture I can use it right now it's just uh then you have the choice of highlight priority or color priority if you don't have any bright highlights like over in here then I would always use color priority because what happens is anytime you darken an image the colors usually be come or intense become more saturated and if I set this the color priority it will try to make sure that doesn't happen but at the same time highlights won't look is good so you have to decide what's more important in this image the bright highlights or the how accurate the color is so the main thing with this is the amount slaughter controls how dark your making the edge and then you confined to the settings with the other ones hold on the option key when you move him he could figure out better what they're doing and it sounds more complicated than it is it's just some sliders that control what the fade out looks like you want to see before and after there's a light switch next to the words effects and you see there's without it there's with it I think it helps to get your attention in towards the middle of the picture what I find is the more busy the picture is the easier it is to get away with finn yet ing before you notice it the simpler the picture is the faster you notice you've been yet in something so if all you have is a blue sky and ocean at the bottom when you've been yet it you're only going to be able to get away with a little bit before it looks like you obviously vignette in the picture the more it looks like mountains with trees and other things where it's all complex then you can usually get away with a lot more been yeti questions comments were good appear are you ready tio just going back to the color issues I'm wondering if you are going to send something off to a professional printer and you have their icy sea profile can you put that in there yes you can there is a folder that is for profiles that you can put it in and then you can have it show up in there and if you do you can simulate what kind of color change that device should cause and you can hover over or click on those things and get those colored overlays so yes you can do that you can install it in the same way that you install profiles for printers and other things eso yes you can

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bonus Packet
Post Processing Practice Files

Ratings and Reviews


After catching parts of each of the three days, I knew that I would need to have access to this wealth of information. What is great about the program is the ability to stop and go back over something that is not fully understood...and be able to do that until confident enough to move on. I saw no "fluff" in the course, just great information imparted with a style that is makes it easy to understand. CreativeLive scored a big hit with this course! The bonus material is SO valuable, especially the presets. That saves an enormous amount of time for me. My appreciation of the power behind the software is becoming ever clearer. Thanks, Ben, for another outstanding presentation!

Shannon Beelman Photography

Ben has been amazing! He is a wealth of information on organizing images as well as great tips to make your travel images pop just a little more. I came into this class feeling like I had a good handle on lightroom and have come out with a better understanding of the power of the software to make artistic life easier. He covers tips, tricks and little known options that help make workflow smother. I have sat here watching as much of the free broadcast as I can and in this last week I have gotten control over years of images in my lightroom. This is one I know I will be buying soon.


Great class! Somehow, it was enjoyable not having Ben default to "curves for everything"! I don't think the title for this course did it justice, tho. This class was 90% Light Room and 10% Photoshop. I was very happy to discover that dynamic and equally as happy to purchase this course! If you are new to Light Room, this class is a MUST. Creative Live offers several LR classes but this is the one to own. Ben is working on his new book about Light Room Mastery - can't wait! In the meanwhile, I'll be watching Ben's thorough approach to LR in this video. So, don't let the title throw you a curve ball, if you are new to Light Room or a seasoned user, there's plenty of great information - delivered as only Ben can! Thanks CL for this great class!

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