Paint Shop Pro X3 is an extremely versatile product that has many of the features found in Photoshop, but at a fraction of the price and there are some extras that you won't find in Photoshop. Here we look at toning options and find some pleasant surprises.
Menu Path: Adjust>Color Balance
The most basic controller is the Color balance setting which is designed to correct colour errors caused when shooting with the wrong white balance setting on your camera.
Two sliders give you fine tuning over the temperature and tint. There is a selection of presets to choose from which are similar to the options you'd find under the white balance setting on your cameras.
Menu path: Adjust>Color>Red/Green/Blue
A basic adjustment of the RGB channels, increasing one of the sliders increase the balance of that colour in the overall mix. It's similar to Photoshop's colorize when used on a black & white image.
Menu path: Adjust>Brightness and Contrast>Levels
A more advanced version of the RGB editor can be applied using levels. The dialogue box lets you adjust the levels of the single channels of red, green or blue. But where the RGB editor has one slider, Levels has three. These let you adjust colour in highlight, mid tone or shadow areas which means you can replicate the split tone darkroom technique, as well as create lith effects and simulate cross processing.
Menu path: Adjust>Brightness and Contrast>Curves
Curves works like Levels on each channel, but this is the most advanced option of adjustment and has almost infinite control over each colour. The graph shows the histogram and a line cutting through it representing the tonal scale from the darkest point to lightest. You can click anywhere on the curve and pull it up or down to lighten or darken the value at that point. Like levels you can adjust to replicate split tone, lith and cross processing effects, but with more precision.
Menu path: Adjust>Hue and Saturation>Hue/Saturation/Lightness
A classic Photoshop option for colouring a photo and perfect for an easy way to create a wide range of easy to understand tones. The program has a direct path to Colorize but going via the Hue Saturation and Lightness option gives you an extra control and the dialogue box is easier to adjust. Don't forget to tick Colorize.
You adjust the hue slider until you have a desired colour and then adjust the saturation and lightness sliders to set the strength of that colour. This is the easy one to use for sepia toning – there's even a preset for it in the Colorize dialogue box, although that's quite garish.
Film and Filters
Menu path: Effects > Photo Effects > Film and Filters
Here's one of the interesting automated options that you won't find on Photoshop. There's a set of presets to set a "look" such as Glamour and Vivid, along with custom options. You have a filter colour and a density. Used on monochrome images this becomes an easy to use toner.
Menu path: Effects > Photo Effects > Time Machine
This is my favourite of all the options on PSP X3. It's called Time Machine because it goes back in time to as early as 1839. There are currently seven dates on the dateline from 1839 to the 1960s. The dates represent milestones in photographic technique. 1839 is Daguerreotype. Select this and your photograph is toned to look like one of those early photographs. You can even tick photo edges and a natural looking edge is added. You can also adjust intensity.
Other options are Albumen, Cyanotype, (below) Platinum, Autochrome, Box Camera and Cross Processing. I really like the Platinum, Cyanotype and Daguereotype options. This provides a really natural toning experience.
Menu path: Effects > Photo Effects > Sepia Toning
After the other options and especially Film effects the Sepia Toning option which you'd think would be the first port of call is quite basic. You set an age and then adjust the amount of this to strengthen the sepia affect. There are more interesting filters to use.
You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum.