Dreamy Duotone effect

With this tutorial I am going to show you a way to turn a photo into a dreamy duotone image using Adobe Photoshop.

1. Open the image you want to apply this effect. I am going to start with this stock photo.

Original stock photo

2. Go to ” Image” -> “Mode” and select “Greyscale”. A message will pop up asking you if you want to discard color information, click OK and continue.

3. Go again at “Image” -> “Mode” but this time select “Duotone”. Select colors depending on the toning that you want to give to your photo. My setting for this tutorial where:

Duotone settings

Which produces this slightly blue toned result.
Duotone result

tutorials thumbnails

4. Now for the dreamy effect we are going to use the popular method of blurring.
Duplicate your layer (Ctrl-J) and on the top layer apply a Gaussian blur (Fiter->Blur->Gaussian Blur). The optimum radius depends on the size and the detail of your photo and the effect you want to achieve so expirement with the settings. For this tutorial I used a radius of 50pixels. Set the layer mode to “Overlay” and we are finished.
All that is left to do now is merging the layers and changing the image mode back to RGB (Image->Mode->RGB Color)

Here is my final result

Final result

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13 Responses to “Dreamy Duotone effect”

  1. Hiddenson Says:

    I tried this effect and was quite happy of the result, as was my wife, which I used as model. You can see the result here.

    Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Good stuff here.

  2. Dimitris Says:

    I am glad you found it useful :)

  3. Daryl Says:

    Very helpful, but can you explain why after using the duotone I am unable to save the image as a Jpeg, will only allow me to save as a Adobe image..

  4. Dimitris Says:

    Hi Daryl, you can’t save an image as a JPEG when it is in duotone mode. You have to change it back to RGB mode (Image-Mode-RGB). Then you will be able to save it as a Jpeg. I hope this helps.

  5. Katrina Says:

    I absolutely love this tutorial. Very simple, and quick to do. ^^

  6. Jifu Says:

    The step “Filter-Bulr-Gaussian Blur” is not so cool. I tried but Gaussian didnt work well. Instead, “Blur more” works better if applied many times. Thank you for your tip.

  7. leeladhar Says:

    its really great to learn

  8. sri Says:

    vr gd

  9. ahmet Says:

    that’s it easy and very nice :) )

  10. Arshi Says:

    Oh this tutorial is amazing, i can’t wait to go home and try this options…Thanks for the tips.

  11. fadi Says:

    wow… i thot i’d play around with this tutorial and hey after you’ve finished tha last step try to create a border around like a frame using tha color white and then fliter+texture+stained glass you’ll love the effect it has on the picture thanks alot guys… keep up the great work

  12. Lee Says:

    thanks for the tutorial - great - very impressed with the results and it makes a nice change to have things so well explained. Keep those tips comng.

  13. aiste Says:

    cool! really really! thank ya! :)

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