The Split Toning pane is often referred to as a black and white tone control tool or a special effects tool, as we'll see in the next chapter. But it can also be used to subtly tweak color in just the highlight or shadow areas and create a more pleasing looking image. Let's see how.
Here is a John Isaac shot of Adobe's Russell Brown being attacked by a roll of killer toilet paper. If we examine the roll of toilet paper closely with Lightroom's color sampler, we see it contains a lot of blue. (Place your cursor over the area you wish to measure. A RGB percentage readout will appear in the toolbar.) This blue cast is a result of the blue sky reflecting back to us via the white wrapping. (Color shifts like this are common in snow shots as well. Snow, while really white, can appear very blue because of the reflected sky.)
If we try to remove the blue via HSL controls, all the blues in the image will be affected. Not a good idea. However, if we just work on the blues found in the highlights or bright areas of the image, we are in business. And that is what we can do with Lightroom's Split Toning pane.
Split Toning to Remove Cast in Highlight
The Split Toning pane gives you specific control over highlight or shadow areas. I find it useful to use Lightroom's Compare view to observe subtle changes when I use the Split Toning controls. Click on the Compare icon found in the toolbar.
The first thing you will notice when you use the Split Toning controls is that moving the Hue slider won't affect the image at all unless you Option-click (Alt-click) on the slider at the same time, or bump up the Saturation slider value. Option-clicking (Alt-clicking) produces a preview of the tint as if the Saturation slider were set to 100%. For subtle work like this, I prefer to start by setting either my Highlights or Shadows Saturation slider to at least 10. Then I move the Highlight or Shadow Hue slider and observe the changes.
As I move the Hue slider, I watch the effect on my image. I initially rely on visual inspection. At the point at which I think I'm close to removing the tint, I stop moving the slider and place my cursor over a part of the image I wish to sample, observing the RGB values displayed in the toolbar. In this example, because I am in the Compare view, the color values are shown as before and after. A Hue setting of 54 combined with a Saturation setting of 10 lowered my blue value enough to remove the blue tint from the highlights in the bale of hay. The rest of the image, with the exception of the clouds—which are also highlights—remain untouched.
Using the Balance Slider
I could refine the way the Split Toning controls work with the balance control. Moving the Highlight slider to +100 spreads the effects of the Highlight settings into the shadow and midtone areas. Figure 6-32 Moving the slider to −100 effectively removed the effect entirely. For this example, using the Balance slider wasn't necessary, but when you use both the Highlight and Shadow controls, the Balance slider will give you relative control over each. (See Chapter 7 to learn more about using the Split Toning controls with grayscale images.)
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