enter image description here

I am trying to achieve the color overlay effect on a image. I have tried Gradient Map, black and white, a new layer with fill color and reduced opacity. But none are giving the best result. What will be the best way to achieve this effect?

  • See my earlier answer to a similar question goo.gl/dV0HVI : Changing hex color of a graphic.
    – user45605
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 13:52
  • I think using a gradient map would be the best option. Just change the dark stop to be placed more so in the middle since most of the mid-tones are the darkest color. Other things you can do. Change the exposure/gamma settings or lower the contrast and slightly blur the image.
    – AndrewH
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 22:43
  • @ACEkin I'm curious why you used goo.gl for the link? Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 16:27
  • @ZachSaucier Abbreviated URL. I trust this is not a problem for the site.
    – user45605
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 16:58
  • @AndrewH Yea Gradient Map was the one that worked! Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 17:03

6 Answers 6


It's actually really quick to make something like this.

Open the file, Duplicate the layer so you have the original to fall back on. Create a layer underneath the image and fill it with black. Desaturate your image (Ctrl + Shift + U). Create a blank layer above and add a gradient that you want. I did the same colour as your example. Set the gradient layer to around 80% opacity. Set your image layer to around 50% opacity.


Hope this helps,


My example: simple gradient overlay


I created the following using Duotone.

Image > Mode > Greyscale (you image first needs to be monotone before you can play with Duotone

Image > Mode > Duotone

Select your darkest tone you want to see and name "the ink", copy and paste your colour value as you will need it later

Add a Levels layer, you adjust you "white" so that it becomes a much darker tone. Adjust until your lightest tone is as dark as you want

Add a colour fill layer over everything and use the blending mode overlay, adjust the opacity until you are happy

Image > Mode > RGB

When prompted to flatten, do so otherwise the colours change

You are done!


Try the various blend modes found here: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/blending-modes.html

Also, make sure your image has the proper contrast levels so any blend modes you use (e.g. Overlay) will display the best result.


Those are certainly options above, but I would think the "Colorize" option would be the easiest first step!

Quick Steps:

  1. Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation
  2. Check the Colorize box, and play around with the settings!
  3. From there, if you need to do any other settings (low opacity color overlay, blurs, contrast changes, etc. etc), go for it.

Here are a few quick screenshots to demonstrate: (p.s. I used a random image I do not own to demonstrate - I'm sorry!) enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    Its an amazing answer with great explanation but its not what its not perfect in terms of what i was looking for. Well i have achieved that effect with 90% accuracy using gradient map and adjusting the EXPOSURE and LEVELS. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 5:36

I have achieved the effect of the above image using Gradient map and adjusting the Levels and Exposure.

Edited Image

Gradient Map [![Exposure][3]][3]


My process may yield a more defined image than you might be looking for, but it is quick and simple if it helps at all!

Step 1) Create a new Layer Adjustment over your image (next to the folder icon on your layers window), pick the solid color option, pick a dark grey/blue color, and set the layer blending mode to color.

Step 2) Make the same layer from step 1, but instead of changing the blending mode, just lower the opacity to somewhere around 80%. Mine was set at 83%.

This allows you to play with the colors and add your own effects without destroying your original picture, cheers!

enter image description here

enter image description here

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