I found this image that has a similar color grading to Liam Wong‘s Tokyo Nights series though it isn’t actually his, and I’m curious as to how the effect may have been achieved.
It’s obvious the image has gone through a heck of a lot of post processing as I’m sure the original photo was not lit originally using pink and blue light.
I’m thinking they could of achieved this effect a few different ways possibly by playing around with the color mixer, color balances, gradient maps, painting in colour and fiddling around with blend modes?
What do you think? How is it done?
Layer above image, filled with 100% blue, Blending Mode set to
Layer above blue, filled with 100% Magenta, Blending Mode set to
Color. — Add Layer mask to hide portions of magenta color.
The specific image in the question may have started as a full color image and a masked greyscale version was used to allow the neon sign to remain in full color while everything else was converted to grey. The blue is most likely also be masked around the neon sign to allow it remain at full color.
You can also add additional color layers and masks to “punch up” particular areas by using blending modes such as Color Dodge or Overlay, allowing for a more vibrant color in some areas.
This is merely how I’d start off with the concept… as always, it would need refinement for any particular usage.