Enhance your Images with Split Toning in Lightroom

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  By Julian
Enhance your Images with Split Toning in Lightroom www.sleeklens.com

Let’s take a look at Split Toning Lightroom to help you on your Freelancing journey or just to groom your photoshop skills and see how that can get photographers the best out of our images or photos.

Our range of Presets use Split Toning incorporated into them, so definitely check those out if you want to see a wide variety.

 For this tutorial, we’ll be looking at exactly how to use this. While Presets do this at the click of a button, Lightroom Split Toning will require just a little bit more patience, trial and error to achieve the look you are happy with.

So let’s start with the split tone or tones of the photos.

Split Toning

The addition of two different colors to shadows and highlights of a photo is known as split toning. It is a variation on toning where only one or two colors are added to the image. After reading this popular article, you will see your creative side getting enhanced.

We’ll start off with our standard image below that hasn’t been edited yet, and I’m thinking it’s a little dull and saturated.

Adobe Lightroom Split Toning will definitely add some great colours from it.


Open up the Develop module and on the Right side, you can choose to use Split Toning 4th down on the list below HSL/Color/B&W.


You now know where that is and you’ve had a quick look, we’ll come back to that in a minute.

Open Basic

First, we’re just going to tidy our image up a little and have a look at how the Basic panel can help out your image from the start. This step may not really be all that necessary because you might have already taken a pretty good image, but just in case improvements can be made, this is what I do.

These are the settings I would use for a landscape photo.

I add a little contrast first, anywhere from +20 to +30 should be enough.

Then, I put my Highlights down and my Shadows up.

With Blacks and Whites, I hold Alt then select or choose the hue Slider. You will see you screen Turn all White for the Black Slider and all Black for the White Slider, what you do is slide the Black to minus until you start to see Black dots appear on the White balance Screen, don’t go too far you want them to just start to appear. Then, do the exact same for the White balance Slider, only this time you slide right toward plus instead of minus. Choose sliders wisely and remember there are various colors that aren’t used more often such as blue, yellow, sepia, etc.

Now add a little Vibrance and Clarity, anywhere round +30 should be fine.

Remember these setting are not set in stone, so whatever you feel is good for you is good.

You can always go back later and adjust.


Back to Slip Toning.

You will see Highlights and Shadows split tone or tones, this means that the Split Toner adjusts those colours separately.

To the Right of where it says shadows and highlights, you will see a Rectangle, when you click on that your colour picker will pop up.

That will allow you to directly select a colour with the Eye Dropper tool from the color wheel, which will affect all of the Highlights/Shadows of the image.

At the bottom of that pop-up, you will see a saturation slider with ”S” and a percentage, that indicates your Saturation (How greyed out colour can become, or how strong the colour can become)

You can use that to get precise colours or you can just hit the button and move around inside the pop-up, it is also on the lightroom split toning panel as well.


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Shadows work in the exact same way.

 I’m going to use my Shadows to intensify the grass and Highlights to intensify the colours in the sky.

Try to work a balance here so you don’t get too much of one colour, the balance slider will assist you with that.

The cool thing with the Balance slider also, is you could make your image look more Winter-like by cooling everything towards the Blue side or more Summery by going the opposite way.

Then, you can go to your Basic Panel and Lighten or Darken to suit the feel with the Highlights and Shadows.

I would also give Vibrance a small tweek to intensify those colours just a little more if it Helps.

Have a look at the before and after of the image, and the difference that it has made. Check out the example that we have added –


 If you want to get great looking images or photos like these without having to go through this whole process, remember, we have lots of great Presets that will do this in a split second. All the photographers reading our post, remember, imagination is the key. Finally, we hope that this tutorial adds more value to your knowledge. For more tips on editing, read our other articles.

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Graduated from college in 2002 with a degree in Art & Design, I started exploring my way in Graphic Design and Professional Post Production. Full-time freelancer since 2011.

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