Here’s a fast way to get professional-looking color grades on a photo. (People will think you spent hours getting these stylish and crafted color finishes.) Choose Layer> New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. You’ll now have access to all of your gradients; choose one, and your image will look a little strange at first. What happens is that the colors will be mapped to the tones of your image, the colors on the left of the gradient go on the shadows and on the right to the highlights. To improve the image, change the adjustment layer’s blending mode to Color. Now lower the layer’s Opacity, maybe 30% or so, until it looks how you want it. Isn’t that better? Try different gradients for different looks.
This tip previously published in Colin Smith’s Photoshop Tips column, in the November/December 2019 issue of Photoshop User magazine.