HDR Photography Tutorial 2: Strong blue toning in 3 steps

13 September 2016

It is a pleasure to read all your thoughts, questions and interests, thank you!
I have received a lot of editing questions lately, such as “how do you edit your photo to a strong blue tone photograph?”.
In this tutorial I’ll explain how you can add such rich blue tone very easily.

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Tutorial introduction

– In this tutorial I use my own photo as an example –
All the steps I explain in this tutorial are based on personal experiences.

I know there are many ways to Rome, but I’ll explain you just the way I have edited my blue toned photographs.

Blue tones

Some photographers use strong black and white editing to emphasize the composition and the contrast (so do I). What I really like is to add a blue tone to make the picture look just a bit more stronger.
There are chemicals that can be added to the photo paper during the darkroom process, but I’m not an analog photographer;-).

Step 1: Let’s start!

1 ) This editing technique works great with dark/dramatic photos, so take a look in your photolibrary.
Tip: For the best dramatic results, choose a photo with some dark atmosphere in it and you will be suprised at the end of the tutorial!

For this tutorial I have used a HDR photo taken in the early morning. In Photoshop I have done basic adjustments. I have boosted the contrasts, played a bit with the curves and lighted up the tree on the right (I have used the overlay technique for that, which I have explained in Tutorial 1: Strong Black & White HDR Photo).

Dramatic nightlandscape

Now you have chosen your photo it is time to open Photoshop.

Step 2: Using standard Photoshop functions

2 ) Open the “Layer Window” (F7). In the layerswindow click the button “Create new fill or adjustment layer” (see example below) and choose for “Black & White..” Keep the default settings.

Step 3: The trick

1 ) Now you need to add a new layer on top of the “Black & White” layer and fill it with a solid blue color (I recommend using the color: #152c52)

Photography blue tones

2 ) Set the layermodus of the blue layer to “Color” and play with the opacity till you’re satisfied.

See above, the end result of this tutorial.

Click here to see the result.

I have used the same editing technique for the photo: “Upcoming Storm“.

This tutorials wasn’t that difficult, huh? I hope you have learned a bit from the simple techniques I use.
I’m really curious about your results, so do not hesitate to show your these!

If you have a question about this tutorial, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Or post a message on the bottom of the page.

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