6 traditional darkroom techniques you can recreate with Photoshop toning

    | Photoshop Tutorials | Tutorials | 26/06/2012 14:30pm

    Toning in Photoshop: 6 traditional darkroom methods you can bring back to life

    Do you miss the days of the wet darkroom? Or rather, do you not miss that awful smell of chemicals but you long for some of effects you could create using your old traditional darkroom techniques? Here are six Photoshop effects based on traditional darkroom processes you can use to make retro-styled images

    1. Film grain


    Photoshop Toning: recreate film grain

    How it’s done
    Create a new layer then go to Edit>Fill and choose Use: 50% Grey. Set the layer Blend Mode to Overlay, then go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Check Monochromatic and use the Amount slider to control the strength of the effect as desired.

    Why we like it
    Gives black and white images the gritty feel of an authentic high-ISO film.

    2. Split-tone


    Photoshop Toning: recreate a split-tone effect

    How it’s done
    Curves, Color Balance, Levels and ACR’s Split 
Toning Panel can all be used to get a split-tone effect. Here we’ve added a Curves Adjustment Layer. To get the same toning in your image, go to the Blue Curves channel and plot an inverted S-shape to add yellow to the highlights and blue to the shadows.

    Why we like it
    Adds subtle colour shifts in the highlights and shadows, providing tonal depth and richness.

    3. Duotone


    Photoshop Toning: recreate a duotone effect

    How it’s done
    Add a Curves Adjustment Layer then double-click the Black point eyedropper in the Curves box. Choose a colour, then sample a dark tone in the image. Do the same for the White point eyedropper, this time sampling a bright point. Here we’ve chosen a red colour for the blacks and a bright yellow for the whites.

    Why we like it
    Duotone remaps the light and dark shades to any two colours you like.

    4. Hand-painted


    Photoshop Toning: recreate a hand-painted effect

    How it’s done
    Create a new layer and change the layer Blend Mode to Color. Grab the Brush tool, choose a colour and start painting. Control the intensity of the effect with layer Opacity and use separate layers for each colour.

    Why we like it
    It’s great fun – a little like a grown-up colouring book. The results look pleasingly retro, too.

    5. High contrast


    Photoshop Toning: recreate a high contrast effect

    How it’s done
    When converting to monochrome, use one of the high-contrast presets in the drop-down menu at the top of the Black and White settings. To make even more contrast, add a Curves Adjustment Layer and plot an S-shaped curve.

    Why we like it
    With black and white you can take contrast to extremes that would look awful on colour images.

    6. Sepia


    Photoshop Toning: recreate a sepia effect

    How it’s done
    Select Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. Choose Sepia from the Filter drop-down menu, then control the intensity of
the colour with the Density slider.

    Why we like it
    Warm tones are timeless. Nothing harks back to bygone days like a good old sepia tint.


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    Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 at 2:30 pm under Photoshop Tutorials, Tutorials.

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