My “Sessions” Duotone Settings

I had a number of people comment about the Duotone look I applied to my “Sessions” images” series (link), so I thought I’d share the exact settings I used (just promise me you won’t be surprised or disappointed that it’s so incredibly simple).

I did the conversion completely in Lightroom (though I’ll show you the camera raw equivalent in a moment). Start by pressing the letter “V” to convert the image to Black & White. Then go to the Split Toning panel—don’t touch the Highlights at all—just drag the Shadows Hue slider to 28, and the Saturation to 17.

That’s it. One letter—two sliders. :)

If you’re using Camera Raw instead; go to the HSL / Grayscale panel and click on “Convert to Grayscale.” (Does it bother anybody that photographers don’t use the term Grayscale for converting to black and white? That’s a graphic designer’s term, not a photographers. Don’t get me started). Anyway, then go to the Split Toning tab. Don’t touch the Highlights controls at all—just move the Shadows Hue slider to 28, and the Saturation to 17. That’s it.

Anyway, I know it doesn’t have a lot of fireworks to it, but that’s exactly how I did the conversions, and the exact settings I used.

Have a great Monday everybody!

  1. Sometimes the simplest settings are the most effective ones.

    I like how there is some sort of “memory” of color, not just the plain black and white. I”ve been experimenting a lot with duotones and B&W, and it’s amazing how you can imediately take all the color distraction of a photo.

    I’ve been so exited about photography lately, thanks again Scott, for all your help.

    1. Haha! I should have read the posts before I commented about Matt and all his LR3 presets, Ken!

      Sorry about your broken comment string!…Now THAT was very cool and kick-butt! :D


  2. Great look from a simple procedure. The hallmark of Scott Kelby tutorials! Thanks, Scott…now Matt can make another preset for us to download at (but he’d better give you credit! :D ).


    1. Hi Iden:
      I had sideline credentials to shoot the game, but this weekend was my son’s birthday, so I skipped it. I’ll be shooting the NFC Championship Game this Sunday, though. Whoo Hoo!!! :-)


      1. Hey Scott,
        Your response to this took my respect for you as a person to a complete new level. Happy Birthday to your son. So Bears/Packers will see the Fabulous Scott Kelby. Way to go buddy
        PS thanks for the excellent & Simple settings!

      2. I’ll be traveling to Florida but will be watching every second of the game. Looking forward to your shots. GO BEARS!!!!!!

      3. Go Bears. Looking forward to hearing how you use the shutter and gloves in the cold. Also, how you keep batteries warm with the wind chill from Lake Michigan. Finally, maybe I missed it but what is the “FUJI RTP II” on the photo of Matt K.? It looks like a film contact sheet. Is that part of the effect, camera type or film? Thanks, as always, for the good stuff and inspiration.

  3. “Grayscale” doesn’t bother me as much as Canon refering to shutter speed as “time value”. Have you ever heard a photographer ask, “Hey, what time value are you shooting at?”

    1. Hey Harry, I’m a Canon shooter and that is too funny! It made me burst in laughter!! Thanks, I needed a boost … it’s kind of gloomy back here.

      take care

  4. Hey Scott,

    This is fabulously simple or what ever you can call it. Certain things are so simple and effective but yet we break our head to sit in front of system to get the different look.

    Landed on this one with pointer from Glyn Dewis regarding a similar toning stuff that i was looking for.

    Great stuff this one. Would def do a preset and would call this “Scott Kelby Duotone” :P


  5. Love ,love, love the Doorhof video placed today in Kelby Training. He has packed that thing with so much info! I also love the mention of Dean Collins!

    One question, right off the bat, He never mentioned why he removed the front from the octi. Is it for a more contrasty look on the model?

    1. I haven´t seen that yet, but i´m gonna.
      I guess you mean the octabank, if you remove the inner and outer baffle then you get a much crispier light which will give you a more contrasty/harder/crispier type of light on the model.
      Its´s all a matter of taste and what you wanna achieve.
      I´ve tried it myself and it´s kinda cool.

      1. Thanks Patrick!

        Scott why can’t you create a place on Kelby Training for questions and answers for the individual classes we see there?

  6. An excellent technique that’s probably the most simple I’ve ever used. I’ve gotten used to doing most of editing in ACR anyhow. The tools are really effective. Especially the “Gray Scale” section. If you use it, don’t forget to use the individual color sliders. You’ll get the most out of your B&Ws.

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