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How to Give Your Photos a Soft Gray Look in Photoshop

How to Give Your Photos a Soft Gray Look in Photoshop

Photoshop Photo Effects

Give your photos a whole new look with this tutorial of a little-known Photoshop secret. Of course there are myriad ways to do this, eg playing with gradients, layer blending modes, color grading and more. Today we'll learn easier way to enhance the look of your images in Photoshop by using the Camera Raw Filter. It's a great addition that has been in Photoshop for a long time, but it is not often used by designers to retouch photographs. So stand out from those other folks by learning how to use the Camera Raw Filter to achieve a Soft Gray look in Photoshop and with the ability to use it an unlimited number of times on any image after we create it.​

But before we begin, and if you want to follow this turorial exactly as described, please download the following free image from Pexels: Download.

Step 1

Open your image in Photoshop.

Step 2

With the Background layer selected, go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.

Step 3

Go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter.

Step 4

Expand the "Basic" panel by clicking on the down arrow icon and apply the following settings.

Step 5

Expand the "Curve" panel by clicking on the down arrow icon and under the "Parametric Curve" apply the following settings.

Step 6

Still on the Curve Panel, click on the "Point Curve" icon and add 3 more anchor points to the curve by clicking anywhere over the curve graphic.

Step 7

Set the anchor points to the following values.

Step 8

Expand the "Detail" panel by clicking on the down arrow icon and apply the following settings.

Step 9

Next, expand the "Color Mixer" panel and under the "All" tab apply the following settings.

Step 10

Now expand the "Split Toning" tab and set the following values.

Step 11

To complete the Soft Gray look, expand the "Calibration" tab and apply the following values.

Step 12

Now that the Soft Gray Look is completed, a good idea is to save it as a Preset to be used again on any other image. To do that, click on the "Presets" icon in the Camera Raw window.

Step 13

Click on the "Create Preset" icon. In the new window give your preset a name and click OK.

Step 14

Now, the preset is available on your Presets panel ready to be used on your next image.

Some Final Notes:

As we saved the Soft Gray effect as a Preset, the next time you want to use it simply open your image in Photoshop and go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. Then, from the Presets menu, select the "Soft Gray" preset and click the OK button in the Camera Raw window to apply it.


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