Add richness to a high-contrast photo by infusing color into its dark and light tones. See how Adobe Associate Creative Director Erica Larson used color in Adobe Photoshop to create high fashion.

Erica Larson is a graphic artist, designer, and Associate Creative Director on the Adobe Studio team. Since joining Adobe she has discovered a fondness for illustration, volunteering, and teaching. She is happiest when making work at the intersection of all three.

What you'll need

This sample file has Adobe Stock images you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

Prep your image

I provided my image file if you’d like to use it, or try these steps with your own. First, I added a Gradient Map adjustment layer (different from a regular gradient). This will let me map colors to the grayscale values, while preserving my original image.


Add a splash of color

In the Properties panel, I clicked on the different presets to see how each one affected the image. I chose the Violet, Orange gradient as a starting point.


Choose your shade

I clicked the gradient to open the Gradient Editor. This preset has two color stops by default. I double-clicked on each of the color stops and chose a new color using the Color Picker.


Enhance the spectrum

To add a bit more range, I shifted the color stops and the Color Midpoint (the center diamond). Then I added two more color stops by clicking just below the gradient, and again selected from the Color Picker.

add-a-duotone-color-effect-step4-before add-a-duotone-color-effect-step4-after

Create your own dynamic duos

See how this dramatic, colorful effect can give any high-contrast, black-and-white image a bold new look.


With Adobe Stock, you have access to more than 100 million high-quality, royalty-free images including photos, graphics, videos, and templates to jump-start your creative projects. Try Adobe Stock and get 10 free images.


Designer: Erica Larson

Adobe Stock contributors: Anastasia, wstockstudio

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