In this tutorial Terry, who is a staunch Paint Shop Pro user, offers some really interesting insights into toning that awesome black and white image you ended up with after using the Gradient Map with Photoshop Elements.
Terry previously explored toning with Paint Shop Pro however the method he used required access to a Curves adjustment which is not available in Elements. There is, however, a light version of curves in Elements in the Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves menu. It allows you to change the shape of the curve but only at 3 points and you cannot access the individual color channels - so that's out for toning a black and white.
Here's the image that will be toned. It was converted to black and white with a Gradient Map adjustment layer.
Here are examples of toning using three popular plugins fom Nik Software, OnOne and Topaz.
All three of these well known plugins do a good job and your favourite will depend on how you view things as an individual. Now, as mentioned earlier I’m a Paint Shop Pro guy who’s had to learn Elements 10 and Photoshop quickly and apply the rules to a new game.
With Photoshop Elements there are a couple of different methods to tone an image - one of them can be done using the Gradient Map technique and another is to use Variations.
The idea is to ...
Let's get started but first a word about the different tones demonstrated here.
The colour recipes have no particular significance - they were chosen using the following rigorous methods ...
Make a copy of the background layer. This is always a good workflow move so you’ve something to go back to if you make a real error of judgement.
You need a black and white image to work with. You can use the black and white you made with the Gradient Map technique or make a RGB greyscale image by Enhance > Convert to Black and White.
If you use the latter method then you will need to mess about a bit to find the black and white conversion you like the best.
We need the three channels to be able to tone the image. We get these by Image > Mode > RGB Colour.
You are going to need to make sufficient copies of the Background Layer to enable you to carry out the changes in the table below, ie for sepia1 you’ll need 3 copies and 5 for sepia2.
For each layer you need to go to Enhance > Adjust Color > Color Variations ...
And make the adjustments in the Color Variations menu box.
TIP – if you find that you want more or less of the adjustment than clicking the button gives you, you can click upto 10 times to really move the colour. But the aim of the game is to make subtle changes to the image rather than brash ones – but what the heck if that floats your boat.
So there you have it. Experimentation with the variations combinations and the order in the layers panel can produce some interesting results – so this is worth a try.
The Last Word
A reconnaissance through Black and White images from yesteryear will yield a whole gamut of tones – some more interesting than others.
If you want to simulate the paper tones (the white bits) you adjust the highlight part of the RED,
GREEN, and BLUE variations. If you want to simulate the silver tones (the black and grey bits) you adjust the shadows part of the RED, GREEN, and BLUE variations.
You need to look at the colour wheel to choose the mixtures of the color variations – opposites on the wheel! Increasing blue is the same as decreasing green and red. Experimentation is advisable.
The Last Word
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