software skills: Photoshop Selective Colour Page 2

1 Choose An Image

Open your base colour image in Photoshop, and if you are not already working on a copy, create a duplicate and close your original file. Mihai’s picture lends itself particularly well to selective colour techniques, thanks to the fiery glow of the iron. Remember that the choice of composition is equally as important as the execution of the technique. Study the subject carefully for elements that naturally lend themselves to being selectively coloured and be mindful of clichés, such as a black and white female portrait with red lips restored.

2 Create Duplicate Layers

To work successfully on the image it is necessary to produce three separate layers: the original colour version of the photograph, a black & white duplicate, and a further colour duplicate that will be masked to reveal only the elements you wish to appear selectively coloured. In order to achieve this, start by creating a duplicate layer through the Layer > Duplicate menu, pressing OK when prompted. Repeat this step a second time and then move to the Layers palette and click on the middle layer icon.

3 Adjust Saturation

There are various ways of converting an image or layer to black and white – some of the most effective of which are explored on page 83. Mihai’s preferred method is to use Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation control to completely desaturate the image. Move to the Image menu; select Adjustments and scroll down to Hue/Saturation.
In the next window pull the Saturation slider all the way over to the left. The image on screen will not immediately appear desaturated, as a separate colour layer lies on top of the layer we are working upon.

4 Apply The Eraser Tool

Activate the top layer in the Layers palette to access the portion of the image where we will reveal coloured elements. Move to the toolbox, select the Eraser tool and choose a large brush size from the tool options bar at the top of the screen. Move the cursor over the areas of the image that you wish to appear in black and white, and the Eraser tool will cut through the layer to reveal the desaturated layer beneath. As you reach the pixels you wish to leave in colour, use a smaller brush and zoom in to ensure edge details are left intact.

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