Adobe Lightroom: The Power Of Split Toning

On this quick video tutorial, Justin Odisho takes a look at using split toning in Lightroom for coloring and changing the mood of your photos.

Split toning allows the user to apply color to different areas of an image based on luminance values. In other words, you can add a specific color at a certain saturation level to the highlights and another at a different saturation level to the shadows. This makes split toning a very powerful tool if used correctly.

On this video, Odisho gives three different examples of using split toning on images. In the first, you can see an image of a girl and Odisho plays with the highlights and matches the shadows (making them complementary colors can result in some interesting colors – although you can just choose to change one of them). The second image is an example of playing with split toning on a black and white image and give it a little bit tint or sepia effect. Finally, on the third image, you can use it to change the mood of the image.

As we mentioned in a different article on this subject, So the idea of split-tone is to inject it to the highlights or the shadows of your image or both. You go to the develop module in Lightroom and you have 5 bars – you can choose the color and how much of it you want to inject to the highlights or the shadows.  For the color, you can use the color picker.

You can check out more useful Lightroom guides and tips on our LensVid Lightroom section.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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