Lightroom: Split Toning

4/22/2014 0 Comments A+ a-

Post 20
Series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

The Art of Split Toning

Split Toning is great for artistic editing. If you are bored with where you are in your photography, using Split Toning can give you that “extra” you’ve been looking for. Sometimes the White Balance doesn’t quite fix your image. Try the Split Toning tool. Want a tone or flair that is your “signature” in your images?  Split Toning is where you want to be. Make your sunsets amazing? Create and aged look? Yep. Split Toning.

Split Toning has actually been around for a long time. The 1800s, actually. Ansel Adams would add highlights or shadows to high black and white images, and occasionally a very subtle purple.

Split Toning split up into two parts, Highlights and Shadows. You can alter them separately and then adjust the balance with the Balance Slider

First, go to the Lightroom Develop Module, and select the image you want.

Highlight Reel

In the Highlights section, set the Hue slider to the color you want to emphasize in the lighter parts of your image. I have the highlight tool set to a purple. How much color? Use the Saturation slider to decide.

Out of the Shadows

Setting the shadow Hue and Saturation is the same process. Use the sliders to set the image shadows the way you want.


Next post: Lightroom Details: Sharpening and Noise Reduction

These posts are part of a series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

Jennifer Apffel is a photographer with over a decade of experience in portrait, event, and product photography. She also does freelance graphic design and fine art. For more check out, or look for her on

"You can't be an artist. Artists don't make any money," ... a trusted adviser told me. So I studied something else. And I worked at other jobs. But, given a moment and I'd find a paintbrush and canvas, or I'd make food into art. I found a camera, and light and composition became my medium. I found a computer, and I became a Photoshop fanatic and graphic designer, and I taught myself to build websites. Anything to be able to create.

I am an artist, plain and simple, and I've come to understand that all these years later. Artists create beauty where there was none. Artists ask tough questions and challenge others. Artists communicate without words. Artists build and tear down. Artists bring joy, hope, understanding, empathy, growth, change and a myriad of things to others.

Involve and influence others. Impact and make a difference. Inspire, lift and make others' lives better. This is what I strive to do.

I share my creations and am glad to have made an imprint in this moment of your life.

That's what real artists do.