Black and White Image with a Hint of Color

This is an extension to our previous black and white tutorial. This tutorial will show you how to have a black and white image but at the same time, you can have one or more object in red, blue or any other colors. It's a good way to keep the focus on the main subject while leaving everything else black and white. Some people may call this a selective color effect. Guess it's from the fact that you select one or more object to be brightly colored. Sample result are shown below.






1. First, open your image. For this tutorial, we'll have to start with a colored image.

2. Next, we're gonna convert this colored image into a black and white image. Follow our tutorial on Converting your Picture into a B&W Photography to complete this step.

3. After you're done with step 2, your layer palette should look like this:



Click on the eye icon to the left to make the original image invisible.



Then, click CTRL+SHIFT+E to merge all the visible layers. Here's your layer palette now:



4. Set the original layer back to be visible by clicking the box where the eye icon is.

5. With the B&W layer selected on the layer palette, click the 'Add Vector Mask' icon at the bottom of the layer palette.



6. Make sure the foreground color is set to black and the background color is set to white. If it's not, click D on your keyboard to set it to default and use the small arrow to switch back and forth between background and foreground color.



7. Select the Brush Tool and choose a soft, round brush. Set the brush size depending on the size of your image. Mine is set to size 13.

8. Then, just paint on the area where you want the color to be visible. I chose to make the red color of the car to be visible and everything else around it is black and white.



9. From the picture above, you'll see that the red is not really intense and I want the red to be more vibrant. To achieve this, with the original background layer selected in the layer palette, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. Just follow the instruction in the picture below.



10. Here's your layer palette now.



And your image before and after the level adjustment.


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is awesome.

Anonymous said...

this is really good..but here we turned a coloured image into black n white...i wanted to knw how we cud color an old b&w image...??

Laurent said...

great tutorial thanks :p

Business Card Printing said...

Great use of masks. The effect looks really cool! Thanks for sharing this tutorial. You write really well too, it's easy to understand and very detailed. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Wow! this tutorial is a keeper. I agree very detailed easy to understand and it makes it easy to do. Alot of people get on the net and don't explain anything,skip steps ussuming everyone knows.

I appreciate your thoroughness and will be sharing this.

Anonymous said...

step 9 isn't working with me, the red turns black when i try it. I did select the original layer

ace said...

Maybe try not to slide the black slider too much to the right..and make sure the layers in the layer palette are arranged like step 10.

Anonymous said...

Step 8 does not work for me. when i use the brush tool on the vector layer, the color is in black colour yet yours is changed to red.

photo retouching said...

A nice selection of examples and a great tutorial

philnicandamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
philnicandamy said...

SUPERB tutorial had some excellent results from a 1st attempt...cant thank you enough!!

USMAN said...

thank yOU SOo mUcH Fo sharing!! its a great tutriol!!:)

Stitched Stories said...

I tried it on my pic and it turned out perfect!!! - Thanks!!!