In this tutorial, we will create a two-tone effect on photos in Photoshop using the Gradient Map adjustment layers.
The gradient map is one of my favorite tools that can change image dynamics. To understand how this technique works, let’s choose a black and white image of a giraffe for our lesson, which you can find on the Unsplash website.
In a black and white image of a giraffe, black is represented by one limit value, and white is represented by another limit value, the other halftones are shades between these two values. Using a gradient map, we can simply change the color of the limit values. It is very important to remember that the black color contrasts with the white color, so when choosing colors, try to select contrasting colors to create a beautiful two-tone effect.
To apply an adjustment layer Gradient map (gradient map), click the corresponding icon at the bottom of the layers panel and select the option in the menu that appears. Map gradient (Gradient Map). Correction layer Gradient map (gradient map) should be placed on top of your original image.
Click on the gradient scale in the panel Properties (Properties) to open the window Gradient editor (Gradient Editor). (If the panel Properties (Properties) did not open automatically, then double click on the thumbnail of the adjustment layer or go Window – Properties (Window> Properties)).
Select the lower limit value on the left, now click on the window Colour (color) to make the window appear Choose a color (Color Picker).
This will allow you to choose a color to replace the shadows in your original image. I use the color tint # 003d7c for my image. After you have selected a color tone, click the ‘OK’ button, and then select the lower limit value on the right side of the window. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor). Now click on the window Colour (color) to make the window appear Choose a color (Color Picker).
The selected hue will replace the light reflections in your original image. I use the color tint # 003d7c in my example. Press the ‘OK’ button to confirm the selected color, and then press the ‘OK’ button in the Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) to add a gradient map to the image.
Since I replaced black with blue, then all the shadows acquired a blue tone, and since I replaced the white color with the color of the sea foam, then all the light highlights acquired a green tone – including the background in the image, since Initially, the background was white.
That’s all. Experiment with different color shades to create various beautiful two-tone effects, and do not limit yourself only to the image of giraffes.
On these sites you can choose the color you like:
- Material palette
- Adobe Color
Hint: add adjustment layer Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) or Levels (Levels) below correction layer Gradient map (gradient map) to enhance or soften light and shade on your original image.
The final result: