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A really quick and easy way to add a color wash over a black-and-white image is by using the Gradient Fill layer. Under the layer menu choose New Fill layer>Gradient. Just like in the previous movie where we used the Fill layer in order to hand color an image we're going to need to change the mode of the Blend mode of the Gradient Fill layer to a Color. Otherwise, we would just get a Solid Gradient and we wouldn't be able to see the photograph underneath it. When I click OK we'll get the Gradient Fill Options.
You can see by default mine is going from green to white and that's because my foreground color was green. If we want to select from the different presets in Photoshop we can go ahead and just choose one of the gradients here. But I prefer to make a gradient of my own. So if you click anywhere in the Gradient area you'll get the Gradient Editor. Down at the bottom you'll notice that we have different colored Stops. If you click anywhere under the Gradient you'll add a Stop and then you can change the color. If there are too many Stops you could Click+Drag the Stop away from the Gradient in order to remove the Stop.
I'll live orange as my starting Stop and then I'll move to the right and select the last Stop. I can either click in the Color Swatch down here to change it or I can just double-click on the Gradient Stop itself to bring up the Color Picker. Let's move this down towards the blues and I want this a lot less saturated. I'll go a head and click OK, that selects the ending color in my Gradient. And now I realize that the front color or the first color here is far too vibrant. So I'll double-click on that and let's just move this over so it's a much more subtle wash.
Typically, when I'm creating a Gradient I want to try to make sure that both of the colors in the Gradient are of the same saturation. That way if I decide later that the effect is too strong and I use the Opacity slider in the Layers panel to back off on the Gradient Fill both of the colors will be backed off in the same amount. If I like this Gradient and I think I want to use it again, I can click New and that will add it to my Gradient Presets, I'll click OK and OK again. Here's the thing now, if you just have a Gradient that's linear, that goes from top to bottom, your eye is going to follow that color and you're more likely to move through the image more quickly.
So I'm going to use a second copy of this Gradient Fill at an angle to kind of stop the viewer's eyes from just reading top to bottom. There are a variety of ways I could do this. I could add a New Gradient Fill layer or I could duplicate the one that we've already created. The easiest way to duplicate a layer is either drag it down to the New Layer icon or use the keyboard shortcuts Cmd+ or Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer. Then to edit the Gradient, double- click in the Gradient thumbnail. I'll click inside the Gradient to bring up my Gradient Editor and then I'll change these colors by moving the orange up into the yellows and I'll move these blues maybe more into the purple area. Click OK.
I like this so I'll click New. By the way, if I wanted to name it, I could name it first and then click New. I'll click OK again, but this time I'm going to change the angle of this Gradient so that it comes down at a diagonal. The problem, of course, is that when I click OK this top gradient is at 100%. So all I see is the purple into yellow gradient. I don't see the gradient underneath it. Well, to fix that all we need to do you just drag the Opacity of the top gradient down. And of course all of these changes that I'm making are re-editable.
So if I decide now that you know the two gradients are a little too similar, I can double-click in one and then I could change the order by clicking on the Reverse so that now I've got much more a kind of a crossover happening in my image. There are a lot more variants and the colors. So I'm getting some more interesting colors where they blend. And there you have it. It's as easy as that to create a color wash over a black-and-white image.
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