Toning Techniques with Photoshop

Clive R. Haynes FRPS


As Photographers we're familiar with the range of aesthetically pleasing and appropriate tones that can imbue our pictures with subtle moods.

For reasons of archival stability (pure silver halide photos tend to fade) and for expressiveness, photographs have been toned since the beginnings of our art.

We're aware of sepia, selenium, copper, gold and blue toners and the beautiful effects of 'lith printing' to mention just a few of the time-honoured wet chemical routes of achieving tonal changes in our prints.
Weird and wonderful effects can also be brought about chemically by kits such as 'Colorvir'.

With the dawning of the digital age, a whole spectrum of toning opportunities is now presented. Not only can we emulate the toning of yesteryear but also create a whole fresh palette of new toning ranges.

Additionally, toning offers a useful platform for hand-tinting an image.

There are five principal methods of toning with Photoshop

  1. 'Colorizing'
  2. 'Duotones'
  3. 'Variations'
  4. 'Curves'
  5. 'Gradient Mapping'
Click on the 'Toning Topics' links below to explore further.....