For an assignment for a photography course I'm following we have to reproduce an existing photo as faithfully as possible.

The picture I have chosen is below on the left (partially clipped because it contains nudity, full NSFW image here, copyright Frank De Mulder). My reproduction is on the right.


I shot my image in RAW but of course only have a JPG image of the original. I tried in Lightroom several things to try to get the same color tone in my image, but I never quite succeeded.

Is there a way to copy the general color tone from an existing JPG photo and apply that to a RAW image in either Lightroom or Photoshop?

The above photo pair is just one example, but I have a whole bunch of pictures to which I have to apply this procedure, so the more general the procedure, the better.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does How can I fix the color of blue photos using settings from "good" photos? help? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jan 3, 2016 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the suggested duplicate, the reason is different but I think the same tools/technique could help. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jan 3, 2016 at 15:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Offtopic: about the reproduction, beside the model's facial expression and pose I'd say you should use a longer focal length (and distance) too. You lightnight is too harsh too, see the hard shadows (this also plays role in the colors). \$\endgroup\$
    – eogavy
    Jan 3, 2016 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @try-catch-finally I see what you mean with the shadows being too hard and that I should've used a softer light. But what would I've gained by using a longer focal length? I know a longer focal length causes perspective compression, but I don't think that really plays an issue here? \$\endgroup\$
    – BioGeek
    Jan 3, 2016 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I updated my answer with a comment, more than focal length, lens aperture, wich in some cases is corelated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Jan 3, 2016 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


The first step is to observe. The main diference is a slight color on the first image.

Method 1

Technicly that is a duotone, it is the easiest way to work it anyway.

1) In Photoshop, convert the image to grayscale Image > Mode > Grayscale

2) Convert it to duotone Image > Mode > Duotone

3) Choose Duotone on the dialog box, not tritone, or monotone.

4) Choose a black ink and make the graph straight.

5) Choose a second warm sepia like color and play with the curves. The exact color and curves requires some experimentation.

enter image description here

Method 2

1) Go to curves Ctrl+M.

2) Select the red channel. Move up a bit the graph by the center. For precise control on the input type 128 and the output 138.

3) Now choose the green channel. Again move the graph and now type 128 and 133.

The exact values are a matter of try and error, but the main idea is that that redish cast is on the brown area, so play with the red and a bit less on the green.

You probably need some corrections before coloring it.

I would first of all desaturate my example image and try to correct my image in a general way. Soften the skin and brighten the eyes for example.

Then, play with the curves to match the overall skin tone. Do this in Lightroom to mantain as much info as you can.

After that, I would try to match the color cast.

P.S. In the photo shoot, try a softer difuse light, and use a wider aperture on your lens.

This lens aperture makes a huge diference in the photo.

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ In Method 1 between steps 1 and 2 I also had to convert ot 8 bit before I was able to convert to duotone. \$\endgroup\$
    – BioGeek
    Jan 7, 2016 at 15:43

There is a match color setting in Photoshop . Open image 1 then image 2 (make certain both images are in RGB mode) . Choose Image > Adjustments > Match Color... and select image 2 from the Source pull-down menu. Match Color reads the color statistics from Beach Sunset and applies them to image 1 .

Now this only does colors match . In your examples there is huge diferences in post processing . Skin softner , way nicer and softer light in the first image and so on .


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