Split Tones


I have linearized a cool, neutral & warm curve. Now it is time to experiment with split-toning.

Is there a rhyme or reason for starting any particular place. I have done some test prints with single, dual Curves and tri-curves. They each have definite differences. I could experiment until the cows come home. But, I’m wondering if there are some general guidelines to cut down on the trial and error.



I’m a novice at this too, but at a workshop Jon recommended not worrying about using a neutral curve in your mixes until you get comfortable with just the cools and warms and your eye starts understanding what it’s seeing. Start simple, in other words, and then add complexities as you become more comfortable with the results you see versus your desired look on the paper. It was great advice, and it’s helped me focus quite a bit. I was getting all sorts of muddled tones when I introduced the neutral without yet understanding how the warms and cools worked together. I use the neutral occasionally now because I can use it appropriately and correctly to obtain the outcome I’m looking for in the print. Hope that helps.



Thank you!


Glad to hear that, Michael! I’d arrived there by pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey experiments and have ended up using Highs 100% Cool, Mids 50 Cool/50 Warm, and Shadows 100% Warm for almost all matte printing. When using Neutral I was getting magenta casts.