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“Toning” And Colorizing Monochrome Images; Expanding The Monochrome Palette:
This photo was first converted to grayscale and then to duotone (#15). Once duotone was selected the Duotone dialog box appeared and I chose the ink mix for a Tritone (three inks), with black, blue and a neutral gray (#16). The changes happen right on the screen as you work so it’s easy to get just the look you want when working (#17).
If you want to try out some presets, or “canned” duotone, tritone and quadtone combos click on the “Load” button in the dialog box and you’ll get a set of folders with presets you can try out. You might want to rename them so you can identify them next time you visit the folders.
“Split toning” is different, though a variant on duotoning, and this involves applying two different color tones to the image, one to the highlight and the other to the shadow areas in the image. This is an old darkroom technique and actually one that comes closest to emulating what chemical toning looks like, since toning involved the attachment of sulphides from the toning bath to silver molecules in the print, with the more silver (more density) getting more colorization than areas of less density.
There are numerous programs that allow you to “paint” a monochrome image. Here’s how I do it in Photoshop.
This field of geysers was photographed on an overcast day (#22). The two steps performed on this image could be done with almost any image processing program—desaturation, added brightness and reduced contrast.
When used with the right image low-sat has a look that is quite unique and for me is somehow more satisfying than HDR, but that’s a personal opinion of course. This photo has a very small touch of color but the architectural elements do not demand color to be effective (#23).
The wall here was off-white, but when I desaturated the image to about 10 percent the wall became neutral white while the implements retained a brown tone, looking like I had toned only the tools (#24).
Touch O’ Color
I was attracted to the light coming through the dirty windows in this train station and decided to remove color from everywhere in the frame except the train and platform kiosk (#26). To me, desaturation works great with architecture, but a touch of color in the frame can add to the visual appeal.
While images of fall foliage often are tempting subjects for increased saturation, here all the color was removed on a duplicate layer, and then a Layer Mask brush was used at very low intensity to bring back a touch of color to what in the original are brilliant fall leaves (#27).
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