Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating duotones with a Black & White adjustment layer, part of Advanced Photoshop: Adjustment Layer and Blend Modes (2015).
In our previous example, we explored creating custom black and whites. But closely related to black and whites are the use of duotones. A duotone typically substitutes a color for black and allows you to introduce a tint. Let's explore this option here by creating, first, a custom black and white adjustment and then introducing the color secondarily. With this image here, I'll just choose Black & White Adjustment. And clicking the word Auto, it does an OK job. I'll refine with the On image tool here, and getting a good balance on that yellow works quite well.
Let's affect the reds just a bit. There we go. And there's a little bit of green in the bike itself, so lifting that starts to bring that out. There we go. And that looks pretty good to me. The original image and the new one. Now at the top here, once you're satisfied with the Black & White, you'll notice the ability to turn on Tint. This brings up a color chip dialog. If you click, you could select a new color.
Remember, you can dial in any value using hue saturation brightness, RGB, Lab or CMYK, typing in the hexadecimal value for web, or accessing color libraries. Color libraries can be quite useful if you're working with the design client. Maybe you're using an annual report or you're putting together a catalog and you want to put a color from the client's collection. Well, this allows you to go through. Remember, you'll find all of the major libraries here, including libraries that are used in Japan and throughout the United States as well as worldwide libraries.
PANTONE is certainly one of the most popular. This will allow you to choose from the different methods here and then select the color. Note: you can just type the value in if you want to go right to that color. This will introduce that tint. And you'll see that it's been assigned to that overall value. The black and white image becomes a tinted image. After this is done, you may find yourself wanting to go back and refine just slightly, in this case, darkening down the reds a bit so the ground becomes a bit stronger, and maybe lifting up the yellows so the rim over the bicycle wheel stands out.
You can use the individual sliders or go back to the On image tool. Just click here to select the tool, and as you drag, that area will be affected. All right. That looks pretty good, and as you see, it's a very simple way to create a black and white image and then introduce a new tint. You can use any of the available color methods available to you from the color picker or switch to the color libraries to choose from standard collections. When satisfied, either save the image for the web with the File, Save for Web command, or go through a standard conversion process to CMYK, and as you do that, make sure you check the colors as well once more.
- Improving color and contrast with Auto Curves and Auto Levels
- Creating custom black-and-white effects
- Using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to recolor artwork
- Expert color grading with color lookup tables
- Using gradient maps
- Making nondestructive adjustments with Smart Objects and stack modes