Using Levels for Tinting

The Levels adjustment layer can also be used for artistically tinting black and white photographs. Photographs that have a lot of light areas work best, such as this image of Tiffany Felisha:

Starting color image.

Starting color image.

Next, convert the photograph to black and white:

Black and white conversion.

Black and white conversion.

Add a Levels adjustment layer. I made two adjustments. On the Red pulldown menu, I set the black Output slider to 25, and on the Blue pulldown menu, I set the black Output slider to 61:

The tint has been applied.

The tint has been applied.

The tint is too strong for my taste, so the layer opacity of the Levels adjustment layer was reduced to 50%:

The tint has been reduced.

The tint has been reduced.

The image was then vignetted by adding a Curves adjustment layer, setting its blend mode to Multiply, and on the layer mask, painting over Tiffany with a large, soft, black Brush:

Final.

Final.

Tinting is often used in conjunction with textures to give a photograph a vintage look. The technique is easy, and because an adjustment layer is used, the file size is not increased by very much.