This tutorial covers almost all the popular color and monotone effects used in photographic images. Though there are many ways to achieve this, we based the whole tutorial on layers and adjustment layers in photoshop elements which should be available to any user. If you are used to your favourite photo filter, try this method to achieve more control and confidence.
We always have our preference in terms of what tone a particular image should be. All images don't look good color, and vice versa. The image(or series) dictates what tone it should be in and that, will come to you in time. Ok, so lets begin. Open the image in Photoshop and make a duplicate layer. Although, we are not applying any filter to the original(or duplicate) image....it is just a habbit you should develop.
Lets start with the BLACK & WHITE. Whenever you begin to apply a filter or tone on an image, it should be already color corrected first and should have proper brightness and contrast and sharpness. Toning should be the last step. The best way to do a black and white conversion(on a perfect color image) is by using gradient map adjustment layer. Yes, you can do it by channels or the cool new black and white tool. But those only help to tweak an un color corrected image. With Gradient map, using black as foreground and white as background, just brings out the perfect gray tones of the image. You will see in a moment.....just click on the adjustment layer icon and choose gradient map.
In the box that opens up, make sure you select the black and white gradient. Normally you wouldn't need to, but if you want, you can fine tune the tones with the center slider circled.
See the result for yourself....
Now, SEPIA time. To do this, simply click the adjustment layer icon, and select hue/saturation. Make sure the gradient map layer is selected so that the new layer will come on top of it.
In the dialog box, first click to select colorize in the check box. Now, move the saturation slider to where its shown below which is quite desaturated. The hue slider should be near to orange to give the perfect sepia tone.
That is EXACTLY what sepia is....a highly desaturated orange monotone. See result below.
Now, if you play around with the hue slider, you can create any tone you want. Also, you can increase the saturation to your taste. So, if we move the hue slider towards green and saturation slider a bit less, what you get is a SELENIUM toned image, and if its on cyan, we get the CYANOTYPE.
See an example of Cyan toned image or 'Cyanotype' below.
There is one more method of creating color tone over black and white. In this, you simply create a new layer over the gradient map layer and fill it with the color tone you want, and set the blending mode to softlight. Adjust the opacity slider to get the desired color saturation. See below.
Now, we will be mixing these two techniques for color images.
Continuing from the hue/saturation layer set to cyan over the gradient map layer(see image before cyanotype sample image), set the blending mode of hue/saturation layer to overlay. Close the visibilty of the gradient map layer by clicking on the eye of the layer as shown below.