Create a Unique Duotone Effect in Lightroom

This is a quick Lightroom effect that will transform any photo into a piece of pop art in no time flat. Typically something reserved for Photoshop, applying a great duotone effect is possible in Lightroom as well. We’ll use the Curves panel here and play with the color channels to create an awesome array of colorful duotone effects to our images.

Black and White + Curves Panel, Red Channel


Before I begin to apply the duotone color treatment to any image, I like to convert the image to black and white by heading to the Basic panel and reducing the Saturation to -100. Head over to the Curves panel and hit the little Curves icon in the bottom right of the Curves panel to enter Point Curve Mode and choose the Red from the Channel drop down menu. Drag either the point in the bottom left or top right and move the point inward or upward to give the image a Red or Cyan coloring in the shadows (bottom left point) highlights (top right point.) NOTE: Red and Cyan are opposite colors.

Curves Panel, Green Channel


Choose the Green from the Channel drop down menu and try playing with the same points to affect the colors in shadows and highlights. Green and Magenta are opposite colors and they will be the colors we play with in this channel.

Curves Panel, Blue Channel


Choose the Blue channel and repeat the same steps. Blue and Yellow are opposite colors so play with the points accordingly. TIP: You can mix multiple channels as you wish or pick one color from one channel and another color from a different channel to apply a duotone type effect this way. TIP #2: Once you’ve applied a color effect, go back to the Basic panel and adjust the Contrast, Highlights, and Shadows sliders to change the way the colors will be mixed into your photo. Check out the full video at the top of this post to see exactly how I move the Curve points and apply the duotone effect.

Tags: Adobe Lightroom, Lightroom, Lightroom Tutorial, Lightroom Tutorials, How to retouch, Duotone, Curves, How to, Colorize, Color Correct, Image Effect, Photo effect