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Adding a Split Tone to your photographs can be a ton of fun, because it gives you a way to express a photograph in a completely different way. For example, with this image, let's say that I want to create kind of a vintage tone here. I'm going to go ahead and start off in the Basic panel. Then I'll desaturate the image. Now you don't have to desaturate every time you Split Tone, but here I think this kind of makes sense. Then I'm going to increase the fill light a little bit, reduce my blacks, little bit more on the exposure, and just get the tone in a good place.
All right, well, so far, so good. I've converted the image to black-and-white. I'm ready to add some tone. So I navigate down to my Split Toning panel. Here, what I can do is I want to go ahead and actually add some color to my highlights, and to my shadows. Now my Balance control is currently -23. So I'll double-click the slider to take that back to 0. Let's work on the highlights. Well, I'm going to go ahead and try to find a nice warm color for my highlights. Bring up the saturation. Yet, it is kind of tricky to find the actual color, because these colors are so muted, or desaturated.
In other words, this green is at a saturation of 24. Well, here is a great shortcut for you. If you're on a Mac, press the Option key. If you're on a PC, press the Alt key and then click and drag your Hue slider. Here, what you can do is see the hue at 100% saturation. You can find the right color, and then of course, you can swing your saturation one way or another. All right, well, we brought color into the highlights. Let's do the same with the shadows. We'll go ahead and increase our saturation a bit.
Hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC; try to find a nice tone here. I want to get a color with a little bit more red in it this time for my shadows. Here you can see I've two different colors,: one for my highlights and one for my shadows. What this allows me to do is to control the tone for these two different areas of my photograph, in order to create an image that's much more compelling than if it just had the same tone over everything. So I can kind of honor the highlights in a way. I can kind of keep them a little bit more pure, a little bit more white, but not pure white, because that's not very interesting.
I can find just the right mix of this color in the highlights, and just the right mix of my shadows. All right, well, let's take a look at how balance works. In order to do that, I'll create a virtual copy. I'm going to do that by pressing Command+Apostrophe. What I want to do is increase the saturation significantly for my highlights. For my shadows, let's bring in some cool tones here. We're going to change the look of this image. We're going to do this just for demo purposes. Well, there we can see we have a different iteration of this photograph: warm in the highlights, cool in the shadows.
Well, Balance is really interesting. What this allows me to do is to either prioritize the shadow color. So now it's all cool or bluish purple there, or on the other hand, prioritize the highlight color, and there we can see it's all that yellowish green. What happens is a lot of times as you can find a sweet spot by swinging this one way or another, and then of course, by modifying your overall Saturation, until you find the right color combination for whatever you're trying to achieve. What this Balance does is it helps us find that sweet intermediary spot, where you can have these interesting color combinations that you couldn't have created really any other way.
All right, well, the last thing that I want to point out is if we go back to our vintage image here, which I'm liking, is that you're going to of course, you want to navigate back to your Basic panel, in your Basic panel, perhaps adds some other Contrast, or Fill Light, or work on your Exposure, or do whatever you need to do in order to finish the image off. There is always an interaction between color that we apply with Split Toning and also our tone that we apply with their Basic adjustments or for that matter with the Tone Curve, or with our vignetting, or whatever it is.
But just keep that in mind that Split Toning does not exist in a vacuum. Rather, you apply some Split Toning. Then you come back here. You can work on the image a bit, and then perhaps you go back to Split Toning to finish it off.
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