Can HDR Toning Be Used In Glamour?

The answer is a qualified "Yes." HDR Toning is a Photoshop adjustment that renders a gritty or grungy look to an otherwise "flat" image. As such, it should be used only when the model wants images with that sort of look. It is great for male models, but must be used with restraint with female models. The goal here is to make the image gritty but to still maintain some glamour. Here is a semi-glamour composite of Laura Kee, who desired some gritty images for her portfolio:

Laura's pose and expression is a good blend of beauty with a slightly malevolent look.

Laura's pose and expression is a good blend of beauty with a slightly malevolent look.

HDR toning only works on a flattened image, so make a duplicate of your file, flatten the duplicate and go to Image -> Adjustments -> HDR Toning. Here is the way Photoshop guru Corey Barker sets the sliders: Saturation -100% to desaturate, raise Detail, then adjust Exposure, check Smooth Edges, keep the Radius and Strength sliders to the left (usually the Radius slider will be to the right of the Strength slider), click on Preview, if some highlights are blown out nudge the Gamma slider up a bit, press OK, then select the Move tool and Shift-drag this layer on top of the original, set its blending mode to Soft Light and adjust its layer opacity.

You can make the overall effect warmer or cooler by adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Check Colorize and adjust the Hue: slider to your liking.

The layer opacity of the HDR Toning layer was decreased to 60% to reduce some the the grungy look. I wanted the effect to be very subtle - almost imperceptible.

The layer opacity of the HDR Toning layer was decreased to 60% to reduce some the the grungy look. I wanted the effect to be very subtle - almost imperceptible.

Finally, I converted the image to black and white using Nik's Silver Effex Pro 2:

Black and white and the gritty look go well together.

Black and white and the gritty look go well together.