Using Split Toning to Improve Landscape Photos

If you’re acquainted with Lightroom, you must have an idea of the vastness of features it offers. It’s simply packed with them and you get all the tools necessary to solve almost any problem in your photos. While this is undoubtedly a good thing, there’s a catch to it as well. With so many options available, some features may become neglected or under-appreciated. One of such tools in Lightroom definitely has to be the split toning tool. Photographer Mark Denney talks about what split toning is, how it works, what problems it can solve, and how it can transform your landscape photos:

“Split toning is the process of toning the highlights of your photograph to a specific color, and toning the shadows of your photograph to a specific color.”

When reviewing your landscape photos taken during the golden hours, you’ve probably noticed how bland they might appear compared to real life. A lot of times photos lack the wow-factor; they don’t pack that punch. This is where split toning can help elevate your image.

In reality, the highlights may be quite warm and the shadows not so cold. But due to the constraints in the camera’s dynamic range and the way they handle colors, highlights can appear faded and the shadows appear really cold. In such cases, you can make the highlights warmer, and reduce the blue tones from the shadows using split toning.

“Split toning can make the scene resemble what you accurately saw with your eyes when you were actually on-location.”

If you feel that your images lack that pop, or if the color balance isn’t right, try split toning. You’ll be surprised by how conveniently you can take your images to the next level.

For further help: The Landscape Photographer’s Lightroom Presets

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One response to “Using Split Toning to Improve Landscape Photos”

  1. Anne Forbes says:

    I found this lesson really helpful, Mark. I’ve never quite got a grip on split toning till now. Gratias!

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