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Lith printing

One of the darkest arts of the darkroom, the lith print—with its unmistakable look—is much easier to create digitally.

1 Making it pink

A lith print is typified by its unusual pinkish orange color, mixed with high- and low-contrast areas. To start, open the Hue/Saturation dialog and choose the Colorize option. Next, set Hue to 353 and Saturation to 18, as shown above.

2 Making the split contrast layers

The next move is to split the image into two layers so the two contrast effects can be created independently. From the Layers menu, choose the Background layer as shown. Select the copy layer to receive the next edit.

3 Making the high-contrast layer

In the Input Levels section of the dialog, pull both highlight and shadow sliders toward the center, as shown above. This will increase the bright whites and solid blacks in the image.

4 Making the low-contrast layer

Next, select the Background layer (bottom of the Layers palette) and open the Levels. This time, pull the Output Levels highlights and shadow sliders to the center, as shown above. This creates a low-contrast layer.

5 Blending high and low together

The final step is to merge the effects of the two layers by using a blending mode. Select the copy layer, then pick the Soft Light blending mode, as shown above.

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