Photo Effects

Quick Tip: Access the Hidden Photographic Toning Gradients in Photoshop CS6

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
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