How to Create Split-Toned Images with the Split Toning Panel in Lightroom 4

April 2013 8:00 AM No Comments

Introduction

In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will explain what Split Toning is and how to use the Split Toning Panel in Lightroom 4 to create split-toned images. In addition, we will show you how to create the common Split Toning effect, known as Sepia, to our images. Using the Split Toning Panel gives us a lot of creative options because the additional color to the highlights and shadows can create different effects to our images. Split Toning will also add tones to the highlights and shadows in black and white images.

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What is Split Toning?

Split Toning is when you add different colors to both the highlights and shadows of an image. In the Split Toning Panel, you will choose your colors for the highlights and shadows. Then, adjust the balance between those colors to create the Split Toning effect you desire for your image. To expand or collapse the Split Toning Panel in Lightroom 4, press “Ctrl + 4.”

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Creating Split-Toned Images

We will be using the image below as our example to create a Split-Toned image.

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First, we need to select a Hue (color) and Saturation for the highlights of the image. The colors selected will then be added to the highlights in the image. Instead of picking a color from the Hue and Saturation sliders, the easiest way to select a color is by clicking on the Color Panel, which can be found above the Hue slider, to the right. Once you click on the Color Panel, the Highlights Color Palette will appear. Using the Highlights Color Palette, choose a specific color for the highlights in your image.

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For our example, I want to amplify the blues in this image, so I will add another layer of blue into the highlights. The higher we go on the Highlights Color Palette, the more saturated the effect will be. The lower we go on the Highlights Color Palette, the less saturated the effect will be. The saturation adjustment at the bottom of the Highlights Color Palette adjusts as we go move higher and lower on the Highlights Color Palette.

As you can see below, we have gone lower in the blues on the Highlights Color Palette and the saturation adjustment at the bottom indicates that the saturation of this effect is at 26%.

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This is what our image currently looks like with the additional blue in the highlights.

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Next, I want to add some green into the Shadows of this image. Once again, we will not be using the Hue and Saturation sliders. Instead, we will be using the Shadows Color Palette. If we go up too high on the greens in the Shadows Color Palette, our entire image will be too green and will have too much saturation. Therefore, we want to add just enough green into the shadows so that we get a nice balance between the colors in the highlights and shadows in the image.

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This is what our image currently looks like with the blue in the highlights and the green in the shadows.

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The next thing we need to do is adjust the balance so that there is an even balance between the shadows and highlights. If we move the Balance slider to the right, the color of the highlights will show more in the image. If we move the Balance slider to the left, the color of the shadows will show more in the image.

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This is what our final Split-Toned image looks like with the balance adjusted.

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Creating Split-Toned Black and White Images

We can also create split-toned black and white images since Split Toning also works over black and white images. First, to convert your image to black and white, simply press “V.” Even though our image is in black and white, we can actually still see the color tone adjustments we previously made to the highlights and shadows.

This is what our image looks like in black and white with the color tone adjustments in the highlights and shadows.

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When we pull the Balance slider to the right, our black and white image will get bluer.

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When we pull the Balance slider to the left, the image will be a little greener.

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Creating the Common Split Toning Effect

To create the common Split Toning effect, choose a darker brown for the highlights of the image.

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For the shadows of the image, choose a slightly different version of the color chosen for the highlights.

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Then, adjust your balance accordingly to create a common vintage-looking Split-Toned image, which is often referred to as “Sepia.”

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This is what our final image looks like with the common Split Tone effect applied to the image.

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To reset all of the Split Tone adjustments we made to the image, simply click on the “Reset” button, located at the right of Lightroom, under the panels. You can also press “Ctrl + Shift + R” on your keyboard to reset your image.

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Conclusion & Learn More!

Split Toning is a great way to create different looks for your images. You can choose to leave your image in color and then adjust the tones of the highlights and shadows of your image or you can convert your images to black and white since Split Toning still works over black and white images. The tone adjustments made to the highlights and shadows in the black and white images will still appear.

We hope you enjoyed this article and video excerpt from the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD. Stay tuned for our next article and episode!

The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is a 14 hour video workshop turning any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop can be purchased by itself, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which also contains our award winning and industry standard Lightroom 4 Preset System, as well as the Lightroom 4 Workflow System.

Pye

About

Pye (AKA Post Production Pye) is a founder and the Managing Editor for SLR Lounge. Pye is also a Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, an Orange County based wedding, engagement and portrait photography studio. Connect with him on Google Plus

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