Our fifth and last entry in our series on digital toning will center on undefined toning techniques you choose for effect or fun. As we’ve previously discussed, digital toning presets are a popular feature set in Lightroom and most imaging software.  We’ve explored the genesis of the most common toning presets and how they apply to our photography. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series.  Check out the first in the series about Cyanotypes , the second on Sepia, , the third on Antique Toning, and the fourth on Black and White toning.

 

While there are lots of rules and common practices to follow, sometimes we just want/need to tone to please ourselves, or a client.  In the image above I wanted to duplicate, both in field of view and the feeling, what it was like standing in this very spot in Angkor Vat park.  What I wanted to convey was the light, the tree roots, and the structure.  Yet, the green moss, off-colored ages old stones, and shabby light wasn’t cooperating.  So I sat down one night and ended up with this.  To this day a 20x24” print hangs in my living room and it probably the most ‘studied’ image among various guests.

Canon 1ds Mark II, 24-105mm F4 IS USM @F8 1/50th 28mm ISO 400

While there are lots of rules and common practices to follow, sometimes we just want/need to tone to please ourselves, or a client.  In the image above I wanted to duplicate, both in field of view and the feeling, what it was like standing in this very spot in Angkor Vat park.  What I wanted to convey was the light, the tree roots, and the structure.  Yet, the green moss, off-colored ages old stones, and shabby light wasn’t cooperating.  So I sat down one night and ended up with this.  To this day a 20x24” print hangs in my living room and it probably the most ‘studied’ image among various guests.

 

Again, in Angkor Vat park before sunrise.  The first hints of the sun were just peeking over the main temple but because of pollution brought on by local field burnings the colors were a drab brown.  When faced with coming up with a great looking logo for my company stationary I loved this image, but not the color.  Simply sliding the white balance to the right resulted in this stunning and memorable image.  Memorable was the key and it worked so I kept it.

Canon 1ds Mark II, 24-105mm F4 IS USM @F11 1/10th 47mm ISO 200

Again, in Angkor Vat park before sunrise.  The first hints of the sun were just peeking over the main temple but because of pollution brought on by local field burnings the colors were a drab brown.  When faced with coming up with a great looking logo for my company stationary I loved this image, but not the color.  Simply sliding the white balance to the right resulted in this stunning and memorable image.  Memorable was the key and it worked so I kept it.

 

This purple image certainly wasn’t created by nature.  A client who owned a dentist office asked me to come up with several series of images which would fit their décor’s color scheme, and help the patients relax.  This is what I came up with and the client loved the set of three purple toned trees.  As far as I know they’re still hanging in the waiting room helping patients relax today.  Their color scheme in this room was a lavender and peach. This fit right in.

Canon 1ds Mark II, 24-105mm F4 IS USM @F11 .5sec 24mm ISO 200

This purple image certainly wasn’t created by nature.  A client who owned a dentist office asked me to come up with several series of images which would fit their décor’s color scheme, and help the patients relax.  This is what I came up with and the client loved the set of three purple toned trees.  As far as I know they’re still hanging in the waiting room helping patients relax today.  Their color scheme in this room was a lavender and peach. This fit right in.

 

Once more from Angkor Vat.  The original image was taken during the right time of the day and I wanted to see if I could do something to make a throwaway image more interesting.  I tried a few ‘infrared’ toning plug-ins and while it’s not my favorite, I didn’t throw it away either.

Canon 1ds Mark II, Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 @F11 1/25th 22mm ISO 100

Once more from Angkor Vat.  The original image was taken during the right time of the day and I wanted to see if I could do something to make a throwaway image more interesting.  I tried a few ‘infrared’ toning plug-ins and while it’s not my favorite, I didn’t throw it away either.

When toning for effect or fun, try and keep the plot in mind.  Don’t go over the edge.  Try to identify what you’re trying to do, where the image should fit in, and what turns you on the most.  When you set your mind to it, you’d be surprised what you can come up with!