Published on May 18, 2023

Grainy gradient map portrait

In this blog I’ll show you how to create a gradient map portrait with noise in Adobe Photoshop!

Rather watch the video with instructions? Then click here or scroll down to the end of this page.

You can download the photo I used here.

Step 1: Preparations

Open the photo you want to edit. Then press CTRL+J to duplicate the background layer.

Navigate to ‘Image > Adjustments > Desaturate‘. The layer copy is now black & white.

Right click on layer 1 (the black & white layer) and select ‘convert to smart object‘. If you convert your layer to a smart object, you’ll be able to adjust the settings later on.

Step 2: Gradient map portrait

Create a gradient map layer.

Gradient map

Click on the gradient to adjust the colors.

I create a gradient with 5 colors. You can see the gradient I made in the image below. Try out different color combinations to see what that looks like.

If you move the colors stops and/or the midpoints, you can adjust the ratio between the colors.

To save the gradient you made, name it and click ‘new’.

Gradient map

Step 3: Add noise

Select layer 1 (the black & white layer). Navigate to ‘Filter > Noise > Add noise‘. You can find the settings I used in the image below. You can use different settings if you want. Select ‘preview’ to see what looks good on your photo.

Add noise

Because you converted your layer into a smart object, you can adjust the noise after applying it. To do that, double click on the ‘add noise’ layer.

Adding the noise might change the colors a bit. If you want to adjust the colors, select the gradient map layer and click on the gradient. You can then adjust the color of each color stop again.

And that’s how you create a grainy gradient map portrait in Adobe Photoshop!

Gradient map portrait

Learn more about Photoshop

Check out my other blogs or my YouTube channel if you want to learn more about editing in Adobe Photoshop!

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Create a gradient map portrait in Photoshop

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