The Gradient Map adjustment layers are ideal for altering the mood of an image. They mould into the highlights and shadows of an image, using a colour gradient
They work with blend modes to adapt the lighting in an image and tint the hues for an interesting effect. Here’s how to apply them…
Apply the adjustment through the Layers palette, because this way it comes with a mask too.
You can do this step either after or before applying the gradient. Doing it before, however, lets you see the affects of each colour as you go. Set its blend mode to Color Burn and lower its Opacity to 50%.
By clicking into the Gradient Map’s Editor, you can define the colour. We went for a grey to orange, but this will depend on your image.
Changing the blend mode of the gradient’s layer will alter the mood. Try Soft Light and Multiply, for examples, to see what kind of effect you end up with.