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Problem with duotones in LR

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Hello everybody !

I start by making a black and white image, saving it like as tif file, then returning back to LR to apply the duotone.

However, several of the 41 images I want to print look like having different tones, perhaps just because they are very different in lighting modes and tonalities.

I am rather upset because I wanted to print them in duotone but I have to go back and print them all in simple and plain black and white, so I can have a persistent and consistent images in the exposition I am about to do.

Any help please for future works ?
Thank you !

Hello everybody !

I start by making a black and white image, saving it like as tif file, then returning back to LR to apply the duotone.

Hi Antonio,

Just to make sure, do you create 3-channel Black and Whites for export to LR? And do they have an embedded profile, e.g. Adobe RGB? Do you do the toning in Photoshop, or in LR?

I actually think the toning seems very similar in both images, Antonio. What is very different is the lighting situation where the photo of the man is much brighter, to the point that some of his shirt is actually blown out, (completely white with no detail). Just looking at the lack of contrast in her suit compared to his is why, ((I think) you are having this situation. when I explore the color in the shadowy parts of his skin, for example, the hue that I find is almost exactly the same as her skin which has little change in its luminance.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I have no scientific anything to back me up.

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Thank you Maggie and Bart for your interest and answers ! :)
My work flow goes like this. So far ;)

I import the raw photographs into LR.
I export the one I wish to work on (let me call the image as AC.*) to CS5 with the settings bellow:
I work the image in CS5 under Profoto RGB 16 bits using Nik plug-ins
(As a variation I work in B&W just using LR with good results as the settings are in my own eyes, if you know what I mean.)
I save the file as AC.tif file. It is now in B&W.
I make a copy of the file AC.tif within CS5. The program names the file as AC copy.tif
I close the original file in CS5
I go to LR and apply the tone preset.
I export to CS5 this way:
I move then the layer to the AC copy.tif file like shown bellow

Last moves:
I close AC.tif and I save AC copy.tif as AC.tif replacing the original by another one with the two layers.

A bit confusing and lots of work I think. But it works just fine. Or at least it used to, until I saw the slight difference in tone when printed.
In fact I am slowly moving into the duotone area/option because they have more tonal range than pure B&W as stated here and I quote:
"...Duotones increase the tonal range of a grayscale image. Although a grayscale reproduction can display up to 256 levels of gray, a printing press can reproduce only about 50 levels of gray per ink. For this reason, a grayscale image printed with only black ink can look significantly coarser than the same image printed with two, three, or four inks, each individual ink reproducing up to 50 levels of gray..."

Thank you for your attention. :)