How to tint a photo in Photoshop

Tinting a photo is a really useful ability to be able to do.   To start with, tinting is important.  Maybe you want to guide the users attention towards certain aspects of your photo and away from others.  Maybe you want to give your photo an “upbeat” feel, or maybe more of a “dismal” feel.  Or maybe you just want to fine tune certain things.

Also, for the casual picture taker, we don’t have the luxury of a professional photographers lighting set ups.  We have to deal with the lighting that we’re given, and the lighting that we’re given is often times imperfect.  Tinting is often a good solution to this.


In order to tint your photo, the first thing you’ll want to do is add a black and white adjustment layer.  This is what will allow you to tint your photo.  As you can see in the picture below, there will be a column that appears on the right side of the screen.  Above the color sliders, close to the top, there will be a check box that says “Tint”.  Click this in order to tint the photo.


The photo will now be tinted according to the color in the box next to the tint check box.  A default color will appear, but you could change it according to your liking.

The question then becomes… “what color is to my liking?”.  If you’ve got a really good design sense, you might be able to just have an eye for what the proper color should be.  However, an easier way to do it would be to sample from your current picture.  For example, consider the picture above.  If you want the light brown area to be tinted more like the darker brown areas, you could choose one of the darker brown areas as your tint color that you want to apply.

To do this, first you’ll want to toggle your black and white adjustment layer off.  Then you can click on your tint color square.  Then, hover your mouse over the picture, and click the part of the picture that has the color you want to use as your tint color.  This will make your tint color the color of the area you just clicked.

This is just one of the many things you could do with tinting.  Keep playing around and explore some other tint functionalities!

– Adam Zerner


1 thought on “How to tint a photo in Photoshop

  1. I found this to be very useful. I would agree that it’s a great way to enhance the tone and lighting in pictures when you can’t afford a fancy lighting set-up. In addition to helping to create a particular mood, I utilized this photo tinting trick to create a cohesive and uniform aesthetic look throughout my photo essay even though I was compiling a mixture photos taken at many different places and times.

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