Toning Experiment


Hello all,

here’s a little toning experiment.
I won’t tell you yet what I did. I’d be curious to see what you thing:

  1. about the toning?
  2. I actually did?

First set with more obvious toning:


Second set with more subtle but same toning:



At a glance, there appears to be a lift in the shadows, and some hue and saturation manipulation there.

(Thomas) #3

Some decrease in the greens. I like it more in the second example :-).


Yes, maybe a flattening of the greens but not a decrease, and a flattening and decrease of the blues; all in the shadows. However, as I established in other posts, I am horrible at color! @McCap What is the reason for wanting our feedback? Any hints :slight_smile:?


@afre, @Thomas_Do, interesting thoughts. I won’t solve it yet, let’s see if some other people want to play…
but you are right I only changed the darker half of the histogram. :slight_smile:

The reason is simply, that I have tried this toning on several images, and I like it on some and not so much on others. So I wanted to show this to you, see what you think and also see as what it comes across compared to what it actually is.
I personally think it works great on the second image, not so much on the first. I also have an explanation for that, but that’ll have to wait…


Well, in the first image, the reds appear to have received a similar treatment as the greens. Random thought: maybe if you limited changes in the reds the effect would look better.

(Sebastien Guyader) #7

It looks like shifting less saturated and/or darker green hues to towards red hues?

(Shreedhar Inamdar) #8

Hello @McCap , It is a really subtle and nice post processing. Of course, the main point is to able to visualise before actually doing what one wants to do! If I was able to have a such a visualisation, I would notice that in the second image, the walls, the moss on the top of the wall (just below the statues) and the water all have a reddish tinge and will want to give it a natural greenish look. So I will just use the CH curve in the LAB tab and decrease the red a bit and increase the greens (using the color selector). While I am at it, I will also use the LH tab and decrease the lightness of the blue a bit to get sky a wee bit darker.

But all of this depends on seeing the final outcome in my head beforehand. That I am not sure of !! Cheers.


Ok, so the idea behind this was color contrast.

Inspired by @patdavid’s article

I started thinking about painters again and that some don’t want the blacks to be black but colorful. I was then reminded, that I like purple for the shadows very much. So I basically split my histogram in four parts. The darkest part I toned purple and the next to darkest part I toned green, as green and purple are very contrasty. (Toned in Gimp)

This works well in the bridge picture I think. You can see, that the stone of the bridge got slightly greener (@shreedhar you were spot on) while the dark parts under the bridge get a purplish tint. I think it adds a little contrast though luminance should be the same as before.

In the picture from the wood it actually works too well (see the ground in front of the tree). While the darkest and the next to darkest parts are greenish in the original, after the toning there’s strong tonal contrast. So the contrast part works really well, but for my tastes to strongly. I much prefer the subtler effect it has on the bridge picture.


Ha ha, I like how I was partially there in all of my guesses.

Instead, I identified the changes as a lift in the shadows, which perceptually (at least for me) did get a little livelier by means of color (hue and saturation).

As for the flattening of greens and blues in the shadows and overall decrease in blues, I was thinking in terms of the histogram. I meant that more pixels in the shadows had become green and blue, green in the darks and blue in the darkest darks (decrease in blues compared to greens).

As for my comment on limiting changes in the reds in the forest image, maybe it is just personal taste but I prefer the darkest darks to be less saturated. A less reddish purple might make it less distracting (warm) especially for an image that is dominated by shadows and has less blue in it, which explains why the bridge over water and under sky image was more effective.

Just my thoughts. I am bad with color, so take this with a grain of paprika.


Sigh. Bad with colour, eh? So am I – but that only indicates
that there is space for improvement!

I took that colour test presented on the forum the other day/week
– and to my surprise/joy I noted that my colour vision is only about
half of that of @Morgan_Hardwood, which is more or less fair,
since he is about half my age…

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden


@Claes I do try to improve. The reason that I performed reasonably well on the color test was because I could tell the colors apart based on their differences, but the colors themselves do not mean much to me and are hard to name unless I use the eyedropper or histogram, or someone describes them for me and I use their vocabulary. I do not know if that makes sense.