SPLIT TONING is “Lightroom’s BEST Color Grading Tool”—Here’s How it Works (VIDEO)

If you’ve never used Spit Toning to enhance the look of outdoor images, the tutorial below will likely change your workflow. That’s because one of our favorite landscape photographers explains how easy it is to use what he calls, “Lightroom’s Best Color Grading Tool.”

In a nutshell, Split Toning is an extremely versatile technique because it enables you to separately add color tones to the highlights and shadows of an image. By doing so, this versatile tool can rehabilitate dull photographs or add emotional impact to a shot that already looks pretty good.

In this episode from our friends at Phlog Photography you’ll learn how to harness the power of Lightroom’s powerful Spit Toning feature in less than 10 Minutes. Instructor Christian Mohrle provides a link to the Raw File he uses for the demonstration so you can follow along and make the simple adjustments yourself.

Mohrle’s goal for this lesson is to transform a rather bland seascape image and make it look really special by adding rich, orange sunset tones—particularly to the highlights. He starts by switching the color profile to Adobe Landscape, which immediately pumps up base saturation without touching a slider.

Next come a few basic adjustments to the overall scene, which include modifying White Balance, dropping exposure, and increasing the whites. He also adds a bit of Texture, Clarity, and Dehaze.

After some quick simple masking to eliminate overexposure in the sky, Mohrle turns to the meat of the tutorial; namely the simple Split Toning technique. He adds oranges tones and saturation to the highlights while cranking up saturation, slightly warms up the midtones, and uses a blue tone on the shadows. Bottom line: Quick, simple, and very effective.

After watching this very helpful episode, we encourage you to visit Mohrle’s instructional YouTube channel where you’ll find more practical tips and tricks.

And be sure to check out the tutorial we posted recently from another successful pro, explaining how to use Photoshop’s Blend If tool to enhance travel, nature, and landscape photographs.