Friday, September 9, 2011

A Splash of Color in Your Black and White

 Splash of Color in a Black & White Photo

I am no Photoshop expert but I have been working in it for a long time!  I started with Elements years ago.  This technique will work in all levels of Photoshop.  I first learned how to do this when I did a project for an art club in a rural Oklahoma.  They were needing to raise funds for repairs to the building that had been donated to them.  Along with the donation of the building came a random amount of orange folding chairs.  The chairs were sold to participants for $5.00 each.  It really was amazing how the community supported this project.  Artist from all over purchased and decorated these chairs for auction.  
I was given one of these chairs by a member of this group -- So I began photographing it everywhere -- like the "flat-Stanley" thing that was very popular at the time.  This one is actually taken at my house by our pond.  I thought the reflection made it interesting.  The "Orange Event" was a great success and raised the funds needed for the roof repair.  
This was one of a collection of 13 pictures that were sold that evening.  The plain chair was also auctioned and was purchased by a man who bought 3 photos to display in his office.  We sold every photo we had there that night and even took orders.  

Here is how:

1    Open your image.

2    Click on the background layer to duplicate layer.

3    Turn the background layer off (as a teacher I had used to say:  "Punch the eye out!")

4    Go to IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > GRADIENT MAP, choose the black to negative option.

5    Your background layer copy should be black and white now.   I like to go to IMAGE >        ADJUSTMENTS > LEVELS, move the sliders to adjust the contrast (use the handles on the levels gram) of your black and white image.  (Take a minute to slide them around and see what they will do -- if you get lost, hit CANCEL and reopen the dialog box.)

6    Now that you have your black and white image the way you want it -- turn back on your background layer.  (Using the "eye")

7    Now, this is the important part -- highlight the background layer copy (black and white image) in the layers palette.  (It should be blue/active)

8    Select the eraser tool from the tools palette and begin erasing only what you want to have color.  Remember that you can change the size of your brush to fit the area you are working.  I usually choose a small brush to go around the edges (My dress) and then select a larger brush to fill-in the rest.  For the orange chair, the legs I selected a brush that fit almost exactly the width of the leg while outlining and filling in the larger areas.  

9     Be sure and SAVE your image.

This is the photo I posting for Project 64 September 9, 2011.

I hope you will try this simple but effective technique -- keep adding to your Photoshop experience -- you won't ever regret it!

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl


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