If you like adding toning effects to your images, here’s a quick way to do just that.
This method uses Photoshop’s Gradient Map adjustment layer. You may have used the Gradient Map in the past to quickly convert a photo to black and white. But you can also use the same tool to spice up your images by adding split tone effects that are based on darkroom techniques. The method is super easy–it really is basically a 1-click edit–and it gives great result.
We’ll show you how it’s done.
In this example, we’ll be working on this photo:
Step 1. Open image in Photoshop.
Open your image in the Photoshop workspace.
Step 2. Add a Gradient Map Adjustment layer
Switch the Foreground and Background colors to their default values by clicking on the small black and white squares just over the color swatches near the bottom of the Toolbox on the left side of the Photoshop workspace.
Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer by clicking on the New Adjustment Layer button (the half black, half white circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel and choosing Gradient Map from the the list of adjustment layers.
Step 3. Load Photographic Toning Presets
The image will appear as black and white and the Gradient Map properties box will appear.
Click anywhere on the Gradient Bar in the properties box…
And the Gradient Editor dialog box will open.
Click on the small gear icon at the top right of the box and choose Photographic Toning from the list of presets.
Click OK when the warning box appears:
Step 4. Apply a Preset that you like
Now it’s just a matter of clicking around on the Gradient Map toning presets until you find a look you like.
You may want to collapse the Properties box to get it out of the way so you have a good view of your image. To do that, click the small double arrow icon at the top right of the box.
And, as you are working, you can tweak any of the presets, you can move the sliders in the Gradient Editor back and forth to get exactly the look you want.
Here’s my finished photo…