Quick Image Editing Tips: Applying Photographic Toning in Photoshop CC 2014

Adobe Photoshop becomes an essential part of photographer’s gear. Despite the debate to photoshop or not to photoshop your photos, we all depend on photoshop in the image editing process either with few retouches or heavy manipulation.

Adobe Photoshop is full of hidden gems and image editing tips that can help you achieve the desired effect quickly and using a nondestructive methods. Moving to the nondestructive editing techniques become one of the targets of new Adobe application releases and updates reaching to the latest Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 (5 Top New Features in Photoshop CC for Photographers).

The Adjustment layers help you to apply many effects to your photo as a separated layer, which allows you to modify it later without affecting the original photograph.

One of the rarely used adjustment effects in image editing is the Gradient Map, which applies gradient film over your photo. The Gradient Mapping allows you to apply photographic toning effects based on ready presets. The results will look the following:

image editing gradient mapping

Now, let us explore the steps to achieve these effects as below:

Step 1:

Open an image inside Adobe Photoshop as the screenshot below.

photoshop cc 2014 adjustment layer

Step 2:

Open the Adjustment panel from the Windows menu.

gradient mapping in photoshop cc 2014

Step 3:

From the Adjustment panel, select the Gradient Map icon, once selected a new adjustment layer appears above your photo layer in the Layers panel.

gradient mapping in photoshop cc 2014

Step 4:

While the adjustment layer is selected, click on the arrow next to the gradient in the Properties panel, this will open the gradient drop-down list.

gradient mapping in photoshop cc 2014

Step 5:

Click on the small gear icon in the top right of the gradient preview box.

gradient mapping in photoshop cc 2014

Step 6:

Select Photographic Tones. A left message appears to let you choose how to add the new gradient to the preview box, choose to Append it to merge it with the exiting gradients.

gradient mapping in photoshop cc 2014

Step 7:

Click any of the newly added Photographic Tones gradient to experience different toning effects. You can also click on gradient preview to modify it.

adjustment layers in photoshop cc


The result effects can vary depending on the type of the gradient used as following:

gradient map image editing

gradient map image editing

gradient map image editing

gradient map image editing
In the above few tips, we learnt how to apply photographic toning in Adobe Photoshop in few steps. You can use this technique for quick toning or you can modify the gradient to create your own toning layer. You can also experience different bending modes from the Layers panel.

At the end of this quick tip, do not forget to check our previous tutorials:

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