Using Split Toning to Color Correct Nature Images

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On your field trips, you’ve been capturing some quality nature images. Yet when you process the files in Lightroom, you’re never quite satisfied with the color tones and exposure. In this video, professional nature photographer David Johnston gives you tips on how to use color creatively with Lightroom’s Split Toning.

Through colorization, Lightroom’s Split Toning helps you enhance your creative photographic style. By way of example, David works through the complete Split Toning process in the landscape image he shot in Kenya. The photograph is backlighted, bright sunlight playing havoc with the colors. This great function helps him solve this problem by adjusting colors in the highlights and shadows as he works on the gray scale.

You will learn that the slider allows you to experiment with hue and saturation in both highlights and shadows in order to achieve the desired color tones. You can then fine tune each of the colors with the balance slider. With the color palette eyedropper tool, you can also adjust the entire range of colors in the light and shadows. However, if you prefer the eyeball method, you can simply click and drag the sliders until you reach a satisfactory result.

Before you work with this tool, you first want to make your overall adjustments in the Lightroom’s Color section including temperature and contrast. Then, to make the best use of Split Toning, David suggests that you use the color wheel to pick colors that are complementary, for instance, yellow and purple or red and green. These complementary colors pair well in the highlights and shadows. In his Kenya landscape image, David demonstrates all these Split Toning edits.

Join Outdoor Photography Guide’s professional nature photographer David Johnston for the complete process of color correcting your images with Split Toning, a creative tool to improve the color style of your nature photographs.