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With respect to photography, the term toning is a technique of transforming a monochrome photograph (usually black and white) to color form. This method has originally transported from the world of cinematography. But after being adopted in the digital graphic design world, the term split toning has evolved and gained more prominence.

• Origins of Split Toning:

Decades ago, our ancestors were exposed to only black and white film and photography as there was no other technology to capture color effects. But in the mid 19th century, hand-colored film processes were developed and many epic films and cartoons were re-created and re-distributed in color mode.

Split Toning Photography 1

A famous example is the Three Stooges Movie that was colorized and re-distributed.

• How Does Split Toning Work?

The split toning used in photography these days, is relatively different from general method of toning. Firstly, it is done through digital software like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Secondly, it is not restricted to a particular tint of color. You can use split toning to add any tint of color to the black and white photography.

But the digital effects are not limited to photography. Even graphic designers should learn how to perform split toning as it may help in their endeavors. For those who have Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, there is a default option of “Split Toning” that makes life easier.

However, for new Photoshop users, here is a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to use split toning on Adobe Photoshop:

1. Select a black and white image. If you select a colored image, make sure to convert it into black and white format by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + B.
2. Now add a color balance adjustment layer that will be used to create the split toning effect.
3. Use the color balance tool to modify the shadows, midtones, and highlights. We will be working with only the shadows and highlights
4. Once you have adjusted the shadows and highlights of the image to your desire, add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
5. The final step of adding contrast or brightness is optional and solely relies on how you want the final image to look like. If you choose to do so, add a brightness/contrast adjustment layer and make the final adjustments.
 

• Creative Examples of Split Toning Photography:

 

Train Station

Split Toning Photography 1

Old Nikon

Split Toning Photography 2

Wooden Bench

Split Toning Photography 3

Black Beauty

Split Toning Photography 4

Vertorama!!

Split Toning Photography 5

Chess

Split Toning Photography 6

Last Rays of Sunlight

Split Toning Photography 7

Hazy Tracks

Split Toning Photography 8

Rise in the Sky

Split Toning Photography 13

Can the Kitty come

Split Toning Photography 10

Step by Step

Split Toning Photography 11

Headstone

Split Toning Photography 12

Movement or Moment

Split Toning Photography 9

Train Track

Split Toning Photography 14

The Path

Split Toning Photography 15

If you possess your own creation of split toning photos where you tried restoring old pics using this unique effect, do share them with us.

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. Website Design Las Vegas On October 21st, 2011 at 12:30 pm
    1

    Split toning and restoration of older photos is always a fun thing to do!

  1. Adam Booth On October 26th, 2011 at 2:57 am
    2

    Great article. Split toning is a great effect that create a wonderful atmospheric look and feel. It adds excellent character to photos. This look has become increasingly popular in recent years with the emergence of iPhone apps such as Hipstomatic that will basic do the hard work for you.
    I still feel it is good to be the effect yourself because it means you have free reign of the final look and not a predetermined outcome provided by the makers of the app.
    I love how you have added a small tutorial to this post. I feel more designers should add more hints and tips to help out other designers.

  1. Hochbetten On October 27th, 2011 at 3:28 am
    3

    Really good Photos. Thanks for the information, I learn many new things

  1. Sheryl On November 3rd, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    4

    “in the mid 19th century, hand-colored film processes were developed . . .” That would be around 1850. Methinks your timeline is off a bit.

  1. David On January 30th, 2012 at 6:40 am
    5

    I’ve found this really interesting , as someone who’s just getting into split toning these give great examples and ideas for my own work. Practise makes perfect! Good food for thought

  1. 99designs Reviews On February 1st, 2012 at 2:11 am
    6

    Great tips and very nice work in these photographs. Also don’t forget that split toning can be very powerful when used on color image tool. It can induce various moods just by discretion or adding color.

  1. New Web Templates On February 1st, 2012 at 5:25 am
    7

    That’s superb! Its literally easiest way to make Split Toning photos.. i will try on my photographs, i hope i could make this!! Very nice and useful tips about photoshop!


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