An Advanced Color Toning Technique

Color toning is one of those final steps that can really make your photos both pop and add a very personal stylistic touch. This awesome video will show you an advanced color toning technique using Photoshop.

Coming to you from Blake Rudis with f64 Academy, this helpful video will show you his technique for color toning. The technique relies on gradient maps and the soft light blending mode. What makes the method so useful and powerful is that like any color toning technique, it allows you to choose what colors you add to the highlights and shadows, but it also allows you to very precisely select both where the highlights and shadows begin and just how wide or narrow the transitions should be.

And of course, don't forget that you don't have to stick to Photoshop's built-in gradients. Spend some time creating your own combinations and finding something that speaks to you! And as always, with anything like this, it's very easy to go overboard, so when you're done, I recommend stepping away from the image for a few minutes, then returning with a fresh set of eyes. You can always turn down the opacity a bit if necessary! 

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7 Comments

jina justine's picture

Thank you for explaining this so well.

Blake Rudis's picture

Thank you for watching :)

user-156929's picture

Some (subtle) color toning is nice but, like HDR, it's easy to go too far and a lot of photographers do. I really don't like the final image (girl on a bicycle).

Blake Rudis's picture

I totally agree! Color Grading is best used subtly. The beauty of color grading though is how it makes people feel differently. Everyone will have their own preference and we can embrace that diversity. I appreciate your opinion!

Ansel Spear's picture

Nice one. To the point without self-aggrandising waffle. (You culprits know who you are).

Blake Rudis's picture

haha, that's funny! Waffles, only good at breakfast or with fried chicken :)

Gary Smith's picture

Pretty interesting. I tend to play with color a bit, but usually in Lightroom, before I take it into Photoshop for retouching etc. I'll try these out on a recent beauty shoot I haven't edited yet.