Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Recreating traditional color toning effects, part of Adobe Camera Raw Essential Training.
- Traditionally photographers could use special printing techniques in the darkroom in order to tint a print. Depending the preference, color could be added in the shadow areas of the image or in the highlights depending on the process that was used. If you're trying to mimic a traditional sepia tone which can vary from kind of a red brown to a deep purple, you'll need to add the color in the darker areas of the image. First, we'll convert this to grayscale. Easiest way to that, cmd + opt + shift + g, ctrl + alt + shift + g on Windows.
That gives me the targeted adjustment tool for grayscale so that I could click in the sky and maybe darken it down a little bit. I was clicking in the blue area of the sky and that's why we can see that the blues were moving. Then if I want to brighten up the foreground here, I'll click there because that was originally yellow in the color file, so we can see that just lightens it up a bit. Now, in order to add the sepia, we'll switch over to the Split Toning panel and we're going to work in the Shadow area.
There's two ways that you can start applying the color, you can either use the Saturation slider, move it over to the right, and then choose the Hue and then readjust the Saturation or I'm gonna double click Saturation to reset it and this time I'm gonna hold down the opt key or the alt key on Windows and click and drag in the Hue. That way I get a preview of a 100% of the hue that I'm going to select. Here, I want something that looks a little bit like orange, right about there.
Then I'll release the opt key and let go of my mouse. Now, I can just dial in the amount of saturation. I'm going to add a lot of saturation but unfortunately when I add so much saturation, we're also getting color in my midtone areas. And I'd like to restrict the sepia tone to really only affect those darker values in the image. In order to do that, I'll use the Balance slider and I'll drag it over to the right which is now going to tell Camera Raw to only show me the color or the hue and that amount of saturation in the very darker areas of my image.
Excellent, let's go ahead and click the Snapshot icon. I'll click on the New Snapshot and I'll call this sepia and click OK just in case we wanna return to it in a moment. Another technique that we can use with the Split Toning panel is the ability to tint the highlights of an image. Now, in the traditional darkroom, we would need a chemical process that would tint the highlights of the paper which would be the paper itself. Here it's very easy, I can double click on the Saturation slider to reset it for the Shadows and I'll move to the Highlights.
I'll hold down the opt or the alt key and then select the color that I want. Let's say I just want this to look like it's on a faded piece of paper. Then I can select the yellow, release my cursor in the opt key and then just drag in the amount of yellowing that I want in those highlights. But we can see that they're really going into my midtones as well. That's because the Balance slider is over to the right. I just need to drag that over to the left in order to restrict them so that this color and the saturation is only showing up in the highlight areas of my image.
Of course, these digital effects are not exactly like the results that you'd be able to achieve in the traditional darkroom but I suppose there are benefits to not having to work with some of the chemicals that we've had to use in the past.
- Comparing raw and JPEG files
- Correcting lens distortion and perspective correction
- Removing chromatic aberration
- Cropping and straightening a tilted horizon
- Fixing color cast with the White Balance tool
- Revealing shadow and highlight detail
- Sharpening and reducing noise
- Removing haze and adding clarity
- Making localized adjustments
- Converting to black and white
- Emulating film grain
- Adding vignettes
- Retouching portraits: skin, eyes, and teeth
- Automating corrections
- Merging images for panoramas or HDR images
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 06/21/2016. What changed?
A: We updated six tutorials to cover the June 2016 Camera Raw update, which includes a darker interface, new Transform tool, and Boundary Warp for panoramas. An overview of the changes is included in the "What's new?" video.