Creative Color Processing (Part 2/3 Split Toning)

Article from Digital Photography School

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on creative color effects using Lightroom 4. In Part 1 of the series, I discussed shifting White Balance either warmer or cooler for creative effect. In this article I will explain Split Toning, and also give you some ideas for using creative white balance and split toning together for even more color control.

For this image, I used split toning to complement the autumn foliage by adding red to the shadow areas:

Split toning used to add a warm reddish hue

Example of Split Toning used to add a reddish hue

While white balance affects the entire image, split toning allows you to treat the shadows and highlights differently. You can add one color to the shadows and a different color to the highlights, and also control the balance between the two.

In processing this scene of a street in Tokyo I used split toning to add blue to the shadows and yellow to the highlights:

Example of Split Toning

Example of Yellow / Blue Split Toning

Split Toning can also be combined with white balance for creative effect. In the photo below I used a cool 3500 kelvin white balance, and then used split toning to warm the skin tones by adding yellow to the highlights. The result is cool-toned image, without unnaturally bluish skin tones. In this way, white balance and split toning can be used together to create an effect that would not be possible with either tool on its own.

Split toning to warm skin tones

Using Split Toning to warm skin tones

Creative color processing is very subject, and ultimately comes down to personal preference. Even if you don’t really like the editing decisions I’ve made in these sample photos, I hope I’ve inspired you to try some new techniques for creatively processing your photos. I appreciate feedback, please comment below or feel free to connect with me through Facebook or Google+.

This concludes Part 2 of my Creative Color Processing series. In Part 3, I will show you how to use the Tone Curve tool to control the red, green, and blue color channels separately.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

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Creative Color Processing (Part 2/3 – Split Toning)


Tags: Post production tips | Lightroom | Postprocessing | Split toning