Reducing the number of colors II. in Photoshop

Earlier we already mentioned how to prepare Duotone and Tritone (2- and 3-color) pictures. Such pictures are not composed of black and white, but of 2 (or 3) selected colors. You can call transition editing tools to your help and see that they work out pretty well.

Load the photo in Photoshop

The next procedure can be carried out on any kind of picture you want to see in duotone.

In transit…

Click Image/Adjustments/Gradient Map to display the above dialog. It allows you to select color transitions—gradients. The beginning color of the gradient will be that of the dark tones, while the one on the right will represent highlights. You can select the Reverse check box to reverse the gradient but don’t be in such a hurry!

Click the stripe to display the color picker/gradient editor dialog.

The Gradient Editor dialog

Under Presets, you can choose from predefined gradients. Below, you can edit custom ones. To do so, double-click the indicated color picker on the left.

Choose a color

The Color Picker dialog appears. On the left, you can select the hue you want. On the right, you can see the main color’s stripe. The square in the upper right corner displays the selected color. On the right, you can specify the color according to various color spaces (RGB, CMYK, HSB, Lab, Hexa), but let’s keep to the easier way now. First, select a color from the stripe on the right, then click into the large field to select the hue. The starting color should be something dark, as this will represent dark colors in the picture. We chose a dark claret.

When you’re done, click OK to return to the Gradient Editor dialog visible in Step 3. Now double-click the right-side color picker. The Color Picker dialog appears again. Choose another main color and a light hue. We chose a pale green. You can constantly track the results on the original picture.

Finally, click OK three times to close all dialogs, including Gradient Editor and Gradient Map.

A duplicity of colors

The picture got a duotone tint with the colors we chose. Darker, shadowed parts sport a dark claret, while lighter areas appear in pale green.