Related Articles


  • Many films are colour graded so that the shadows are bluish and the highlights yellowish. This contrast between cool and warm tones is visually and emotionally pleasing. This effect can be produced in many ways, one of the easiest is by using split toning in Lightroom.

Using Exclusion Blending Mode

Cinematic Matte Effect

  • The cinematic matte effect, also called crushed black or crushed shadow effect. The Matte Effect makes the blacks look on the grey side and leaves the rest of the tones intact.  The result is a wonderfully nostalgic look, free of dark contrast. Hop onto any stock website and type the word “portrait.” You will see this cinematic effect on 7 out of 10 portrait images per page scroll. Produce this by creating a Curves Adjustment Layer and lifting the blacks a little. Can also introduce some colour into the blacks if needed. Reduce opacity to the required level. Can use different blending modes. May need to boost contrast after. 01 (Presets to download),
  • PixImperfect says the darks will be a bit brighter and the lights a bit darker. Usually there is an overall tint, e.g. too warm or cold, which can vary in tint for the highlights, mid-tones and shadows. Also more effective in cinema aspect ratio of 21:9, perhaps leaving a black bar above and below. Use Levels and push in the input slider either side in to increase contrast then bring in the output sliders to add fade. Use a Gradient Mask to add the colour effect to different parts of the image.