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You can think of a black and white image as an image that is printed with only a single ink color, black. But we could also print that image with a single ink of a different color, and that gives us the idea of a color tint for a black and white image. Perhaps the most common example would be a Sepia Tone, which has a little bit of a yellowish to orangish-brown color to it, but we can add a color tint of any color that we'd like. Here I have an image that is already been converted to black and white. But just to illustrate the concept, I'm going to add a black and white Adjustment Layer, typically starting with the colored image and then adding that black and white adjustment to create the initial black and white effect.
But I can also add a color tint, and its very, very simple to do. On the Properties panel for our black an white adjustment we can simply Turn on the Tint check-box and a color tint will be added to the image. We can change the color for that tint, by clicking on the Color Swatch associated with the Tint check box, that will bring up our color picker. I'll go ahead and move that out of the way a little bit here so we can see more of the image, an the we can choose any color of the rainbow for the tint that we're adding to the photo. I could choose a red color, a magenta color, blue, cyan, green, yellow, red, etc., you get the idea.
Any color you'd like can be added as a tint for the photo. It can be a good idea to think about the emotional impact, as it were for the color that you're adding. For example, a blue to cyan color brings about a cool response, both literally and figuratively. Whereas a yellow to orange or red color brings about a little bit of a warmer feeling in the photo. And quite often, I'll find that with industrial equipment something of a magenta tone, not too saturated but still a little bit of a pinkish tone can work very, very nicely as well.
In general, I recommend using a color that is not very saturated. It's easy to take things a little bit too far and produce an artificial or even bizarre appearance in the photo. So focus on colors that have a relatively low degree of saturation. Remember, we're just adding a tint, not completely colorizing the photo. But with that in mind, continue to explore around and find the color that you think is going to work best for a particular photo. Fine tuning the result until you really think you've found the best color. I think I'm going to go with a little bit more of a reddish-orange tone here. That's looking kind of cool.
I'll go ahead and click OK to apply that change. But keep in mind, because I'm using a black and white Adjustment Layer with the tint option turned on, I can always come back to that adjustment at any time and click the Color Swatch once again, to go find a different color if I prefer. In this case, though, I'm very happy with the results so I'll simply click the OK button to finalize the effect.
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