Want a quick way to tone or split-tone your photos? Photoshop CS6 comes preloaded with photographer-created Gradient Map presets but they’re hidden somewhere inside Photoshop. Read this tutorial and find out where to find them and how to use them to create a professional split-toning effect. A printable toning presets chart is also included for you to use as a reference.

The Photographic Toning Effects

Photoshop CS6 comes loaded with 39 presets to simulate traditional darkroom toning and split-toning effects. Click on the image to download the high-res version you can print.

Split Toning Presets


Step 1

Open an image you want to split tone in Photoshop. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the image below as an example.


Step 2

Add a new Gradient Map adjustment layer. You can do this by clicking on the Gradient Map fill layer button in the Adjustments panel (Window > Adjustments).


Step 3

In the Properties panel (Window > Properties), click on the Gradient. This will bring up the Gradient Editor.


Step 4

This is where the photographic toning presets are hidden. Click on the panel menu located on the top-right of the presets area then select Photographic Toning.


Step 5

Try out the different gradients to find the one that you like. Most of them will look pretty strong, but we’ll minimize this in the next step.


Step 6

One way to reduce the look of it is to add a Black and White adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black & White). Position this layer between the two layers then adjust the opacity of your Gradient Map. Here’s what ours look like with the Gradient Map at 50%.


Final Results

Split Toning

15 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Access the Hidden Photographic Toning Gradients in Photoshop CS6”

  1. Doesnt work for me. Hopefully you can help me. I cant access the photographic toning. I get a gradient editor but with a much larger, much different dialog box with several folders to select different types of gradients. I click on the gear and dont get anything past a small selections of options like small list, restore defaults and nothing past that. This is the third tutorial, two of which from Adobe and I cant finish a simple tutorial. I have the latest version of Adobe PS and its up to date. Thanks.

    1. There’s more presets there than the lightroom ones. And if they can do it with the gradient, why create a new one? Just more clutter

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