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HDR – Monochrome Blending with A Touch of Duo – HTDS

Published July 11th, 2012

One of the nice things about photographic technology is that we have the ability to modify our HDR images in practically endless ways. And the art of blending a Sepia toned monochrome with an original color image can yield interesting results.



For this “How To Do Stuff (HTDS)” post, I’ve started with a color version of an old street scene that has obviously had, shall I say, a more illustrious career in the past.

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Down Dickinson

For this “How To Do Stuff (HTDS)” post, I’ve started with a color version of an old street scene that has obviously had, shall I say, a more illustrious career in the past.

As you can see, there’s still life here with the storefront church on the left along with a shoe shop (they also repair saddles) and the barber shop on the far corner.

  • February 15th, 2012
  • NIKON D700
  • 86mm / f/11
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The MonoBlend – Sepia Beauty

I loaded the image into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for a mild monochrome, sepia treatement. Scenes like this seem to always look interesting when given a vintage look. The warmth of the sepia complements the aged surroundings. Prior to the Silver Efex Pro work, I used Curves in Adobe Photoshop to balance the contrast and punch the light areas. This image was shot with an inexpensive 70-300mm zoom lens that caused quite a bit of pincushioning at 86mm. So, I used Lens Correction, Auto Correction and checked Geometric Distortion and Vignette (cleans up the corners). This gave me a beautiful result. And I was amazed that there is no Chromatic Aberration in this shot.

  • February 15th, 2012
  • NIKON D700
  • 86mm / f/11
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The MonoBlend with Bits of Color

The Sepia conversion gave me a new layer in Photoshop so I used the Fill percentage to adjust the blend of Sepia and Color. The four shots below seem to portray an aging process. The Sepia fill is 25, 50, 75 and 90 percent. Note how the increase in fill overpowers the color but gives a nice graduated antique look to the scene . . . almost like seeing a photo age that many years.

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The MonoBlend with A Touch of Duo

And now for the Touch of Duo. Photoshop allows an infinite palette for (color) tonal blending. For this shot, I started with the full color version and converted it to Grayscale mode. Then I selected Image > Mode > Duotone and chose a dark burgundy red and pale yellow to create this duotone version. The yellow tones tend to give the light areas a nice punch.

  • February 15th, 2012
  • NIKON D700
  • 86mm / f/11

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