Split toning effects are a great way to emphasize emotion in a photo. They are an important element in emulating many classic films. Exposure makes it easy to apply color toning effects to your photos. This video shows you how.

Photo: Terrence Jones Photography


What Is Split Toning?

Toning is a method of adding colors to an image without affecting its brightness, it is simply a change to color. Split toning is when multiple colors are introduced. Split toning adjusts the light and dark values of an image by coloring them independently.

Adding Split Toning Effects

Exposure makes experimenting with different looks easy, which streamlines the toning process. On the right dock, open the Tone Curve panel to access the split toning controls. There are great-looking presets to browse in the dropdown. Use these fully-customizable presets, or build your own look from scratch.

The Split Toning feature has simple controls. The gradient strip represents the luminosity of the image. Luminosity is the measure of brightness in the image’s values. It is easy to see the comparison with black and white images. Light areas are represented by the right side of the strip, and dark tones are on the left.

Each color stop on the gradient will control the color applied to the corresponding tones. For example, moving a color stop left will apply the color to darker values in the photo. To change the hue drag the color slider, or select the color swatch to choose a specific color.

If you only want to apply a single tone to your image, set the strength slider to zero for one color. When adjusting the strength of the applied tones, a subtle touch can go a long way to creating mood.

The settings of the split toning controls can be saved as a preset so you can use the look again in the future. Click the menu button and select the ‘Save as Preset’ option. Give the new split toning preset an informative name. Put it in a category, which places it in a submenu. And, provide a helpful description so you understand how the effect was created.