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In this Foundations of Photography, Ben Long shows photographers how to develop a black and white vocabulary and explains the considerations to take into account when shooting for this medium. The course follows Ben as he goes on location and explains what makes good black and white subject matter and how to visualize the scene in terms of tonal values and contrast rather than color. Along the way, he demonstrates some exposure strategies for getting the best images. Back at the computer, Ben demonstrates techniques for converting the resulting photos into black and white using Photoshop and other imaging tools, and offers tips on printing and output.
In the last lesson we looked at toning, the process of applying a color tint to an image. We are going to look at a variation on that now called split toning, which is something that you can do in Camera Raw. Split Toning allows you to tone the highlights of an image one color and the shadows of an image another color and have them kind of blend together. So this is the trestle image that we looked at earlier. Before, I'd done all my edits in Photoshop. Here, I have kind of recreated the same edits in Camera Raw because I have to be in Camera Raw to do this Split Toning effect.
So as you can see, I have already done a Convert to Grayscale. You can also see that because my image looks like it's in black and white. Anyway I've done a Convert to Grayscale, which you have to do to get Split Toning. The next tab over is the Split Toning tab, and it's got two different controls, one for letting me pick the color that I want the highlight toning to be, and the other to be the color that I want the shadow toning to be. So I am going to quickly go back and look at the color image. I kind of like the slight-blue sky and we've got warm down here. I think I might stick with the cool-to- warm thing here, although I don't know.
Maybe I am going to reverse that. But let's see what happens if we come over here and get more of the magenta color in the sky. That's kind of interesting, and notice it's picking up in the rails, which is not what was happening in my original color image. I was not actually getting any color in these highlight details down here or in these highlights over here. So I am not really just recreating the exact same color that was in the image, I am spreading that color through more of the image, which is kind of interesting. So what that's done is that's given me a tone in only the highlights. It might be that you just want to stop right there because you like the coolness of the shadows that we get here, but let's see what happens up if we warm up the shadows also.
I am going to keep this in the orange range and warm that up, and there is a lot of overlap here between the highlights and shadows, tonally, because even these highlights are pretty dark. Now the Balance slider lets me move more towards the shadows, which makes the image more orange, or more towards the highlights, which makes it more blue. So I can find the just the change that I like and if I want along the way, go back and change the tinting itself. So Split Toning is a very specialized, unique kind of an effect. It's roughly akin to duo tones in the print world if you've got any experience of that kind, and it can be a way of getting a nice stylized look that allows you to really control the mood of the image through color.
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