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Photography Question 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/22/2005
 

Selective Color in B&W Photo


I've seen pictures that are in black and white, but something in the photo is in color. What is an easy software to do this in for a beginner? Thanks.


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9/19/2008 7:38:25 PM

 
W.   
Try typing "selective colouring" in the search box, and hitting Enter, Cheryl.


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9/19/2008 7:44:05 PM

 
Dorean Beattie
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/29/2008
  I use Photoshop Elements and do this successfully using layers. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but here is my method:
Create an adjustment layer (in the "Layers" menu). Choose "hue/saturation". Next desaturate the "master" on that layer. The next step is to paint over the areas you want to retain color with the paintbrush tool, using black as the color. That will remove the layer effect from those areas, returning them to their original color. Easy...


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9/29/2008 1:55:38 PM

 
W.   
 
  The world is your oyster
The world is your oyster
© W.
Miscellaneous Does...
 
 
A 'History Brush' is easier:

1) desaturate the image to B/W
2) choose "History Brush" and paint where you want the color back in.
I know $600 CS3 Photoshop has it. And $85 Photoshop Elements. Fellow board members want to suggest others?
Have fun!


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9/29/2008 10:30:18 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Will, I see your point, but I'm not sure that is 'easier' to work with the History brush. Dorean's solution seems more flexible as you can make adjustments because it is in layers and uses masks. Certainly the latter two are more advanced concepts, but I think they are more core (and I teach some basics with them in the Photoshop 101 class I teach here at BP.
In your method, how do you make adjustments if your brush goes off? It isn't obvious to most, I think, who are familiar with the tool (you have to switch states, of course). You also assume people know how to use the History Brush (e.g., that selecting a prior state is obvious), perhaps that there are no other layers in the image (i.e., that the image is flattened), that they know which method to use to desaturate (e.g., desaturating as Dorean describes will not work for your solution), and perhaps assume they won't change their mind later (layers allows mind changing, History Brush will become obsolete after 20 steps or so unless you use snapshots...and there another concept to learn). Dorean's solution can work on a multi-layer image and requires tools common to both Elements 7 and Photoshop. As a beginner, Cheryl, you will likely do fine with Elements.
Understanding both ideas is something I recommend, but delving into the History brush as a first tool for a new user may not be easiest.
I am posting a third variation ... not because it is outright easier, but because conceptually it may make more sense to a new user as to what is going on:

1. Open the image and save by another name (effectively makes sure you are working on a duplicate of the original).
2. Set the foreground color to 50% gray. Just click the foreground color swatch in the toolbar, and set HSB values to H:0, S:0, B:50.
3. Create a new layer (Layer>New>Layer), and fill with the foreground color (created in the previous step) Edit>Fill, and choose Foreground as the Source. The image will turn gray.
4. Set the layer mode to Color. To do this open the Layers palette (Window>Layers), click Normal and choose Color from the list that pops up. The image will turn grayscale because you are applying gray as a color to the whole image. Now you are all set to make the effect happen by letting the color come through the gray.
5. Remove gray over the area where you want the color to come through. To do this, choose the Eraser tool (press E) and erase the areas of gray in your layer where you want color to come through. If you make a mistake, switch to the Brush tool (press B) and paint the gray back in.

The advantage here: no masking. This can work on multiple layers, requires very simple concepts, simple shortcuts, and simple tools. Menus may be somewhat different in different versions of Photoshop and Elements.
I hope that helps!
Richard Lynch


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9/30/2008 5:49:33 AM

 
Dorean Beattie
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/29/2008
  Thanks for the detailed explanation Richard! I'm excited to have a new method to try!


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10/1/2008 6:03:12 AM

 
Janella Nunan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/28/2005
  Cheryl, this may be a dirty word to some people but picnik.com is great for beginners! It does all the work for you! :)


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10/7/2008 5:55:06 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/22/2005
  Thank you all. I will try these ideas out.


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10/7/2008 6:04:02 AM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Janella,
While Picnik looks like it might be some fun, one warning about automated tools: they can't see your image and they don't know what you are thinking or envisioning. Because they can't see, they will not necessarily make corrections that are visually pleasing in all cases...and depending in the calculation, they may not be doing your image any favors. I wrote a blog about "magic tools" about a year ago that fills out th idea I am trying to suggest briefly here: Magic Tools

I may just not be familiar enough with the tool, but this also does not seem to be able to accomplish the effect the original post was looking for except in a very rudimentary way (the Focal B&W effect). There is little control over the shape of the effect (you just get a round color area that you can move and/or blur). I think you'd see that other methods described here are not a lot of work -- just a few short steps -- and they provide a lot more control. Though they do require having Photoshop or Elements.

I hope that helps!

Richard Lynch


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10/7/2008 6:16:13 AM

 
Charlie     Cheryl, try a program called "Color Select" - it can be downloaded at "magicsplash.com" - currently priced at $14.99 - I've used it a few times with success. Easy to download and easy to use.

Charlie


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10/7/2008 7:05:24 PM

 
Sharon M. Harding   I use PS elements as well. However, I use a very easy method. I duplicate the layer (usually along the right hand side of the screen), make that duplicate black and white by selecting "remove color" from the menu option, then I select the eraser and erase the areas that I want to remain color. It's very easy to do this way and it looks great!


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10/8/2008 3:34:38 AM

 
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