Adding a selective splash of color to a black-and-white image leverages the most powerful features of both black-and-white and color photography. The color provides striking contrast that immediately draws your eye to the colorized subject — most often the main focal point of the photo. You instinctively scan the rest of the picture and pick up on the emphasized pattern and texture play against the color contrast, causing a truly enhanced viewing experience [sources: Design-Lib; Morton; Ghodke].
At the bottom of this post we have added some tutorials to help you recreate this effect. Hope you enjoy our selection.
Download and unzip the sample file, or use a color photo of your own. Click the Open button in Photoshop’s Start Screen or choose File > Open. Then navigate to the photo and click Open.
Click the Adjustments panel tab or choose Window > Adjustments to open the Adjustments panel. Then click the Black & White adjustment icon in the Adjustments panel.
Buddha In Wonderland A Greed Sleepwalker Herbstblatt – fallen leaves Colour my life with the chaos of trouble Sunset after the rain selective colour Princess Times Past By Love Waiting on a cool breeze! Ladybug Bird Eyes Banana Dewy Pine Leaf Uncurling Telephone in Selective Colour Chondro Selective Color The Boat & The Castle Rim & Caliper on 427R Roush Mustang El Vendedor de Colores Torre de los vientos Walk This Way A place to rest Racing Rainbow Gateway Cup St.
Louis Colors in B&W Kiss Kiss Love Yellow City Fighting to stay alive Montenvers Magie Poppins Orange bicycle We all livin’ in a blue tractor HHP Homecoming Football Viento State Park Red Seat Butterfly Goalkeeper Black and Blue Ground Squirrel Romabikepolo Boston1 Leaves Catlick Dandelion Taraxacum MyFest Cold drink.
Hot day A Little Red Car Cockerel Red Bridge Tutorials & Resources Black and White with a Splash of Colour (Photoshop Tutorial) Mono, with a Dash of Colour (Photoshop Tutorial) A Splash of Color in Your Black and White Black and White… with the occasional splash of colour (Beautiful Examples)
Brush over the parts of the photo where you want to bring back color. You’re not actually painting on the photo; youre painting with black on the adjustment layer mask, which hides the adjustment and lets the original color show through.
This technique can take an otherwise dull image and make it vibrant by highlighting critical areas of beauty. And, as you will also notice, they can at times be very powerful.
Go to the color boxes at the bottom of the tools panel to set black as the color to paint with. First click the small default colors icon above the color boxes. Then click the double-pointed arrow icon to switch to black as the Foreground Color.
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The adjustment will be visible wherever the layer mask is white, but will be hidden from view wherever the layer mask is black, letting the original color show through there. In the next steps you’ll add black to the layer mask, bringing some color back into part of the image.
How to Create Black-and-White Photographs with Color Accents
To fine-tune the black and white adjustment, make sure the Black & White adjustment layer is selected in the Layers panel. Then click the Auto button in the Properties panel (Window > Properties). In the sample photo, this brightens areas that were yellow in the original photo and darkens areas of other colors, giving the black and white version more tonal contrast.
Optional: You can drag the individual color sliders to change the brightness of corresponding parts of the black and white photo. Try dragging the Yellows slider to the right to make the flowers and grass even brighter.
Hint: You can zoom in for a closer view by pressing Command + (Windows: Control +) on your keyboard. To zoom back out, press Command – (Windows: Control –).
You can change the size of the brush tip as you’re painting. Press the [ (left bracket) key on your keyboard to make the brush tip smaller. Press the ] (right bracket) key to make the brush tip larger.
Select the Brush tool in the Tools panel. Open the Brush picker in the Tool Options bar and change the Size and Hardness of the brush tip. The values you choose depend on the photo. For the sample photo, try Size: 100 px and Hardness: 50%.
Taking a black and white photograph and adding partial color effects to certain key points of the shot is one of the most popular techniques amongst professional photographers. You can understand its popularity when you look at the examples we have for you below.
You can brush over more than one part of the photo, bringing in color wherever you like. Try lowering the Opacity of the brush in the Tool Options bar to get a tinted color look in some areas.
The white rectangle on the Black & White adjustment layer in the Layers panel is a layer mask, which you can use to control where the black and white adjustment affects the photo.
For such a complex effect, it’s an easy one to achieve with modern editing software. The specific process for the program you use may vary slightly, but the instructions on the next two pages will give you a big head start toward learning to add color accents to black-and-white photos.
A new Black & White adjustment layer appears in the Layers panel, causing the photo on the layer below to change to black and white.
Converting a photo to black and white and bringing back creative splashes of color is a great way to add drama and focus to your photograph.
But in an era when color photography can capture the most subtle shades nature throws at us, why does black-and-white photography still hold such sway? Part of the answer has to do with how we’re wired to process visual information. Color is a powerful force for driving our focus — the hunter-gatherer instincts that helped us spot animals hiding in the bush now draw us to pick out the color that doesn’t seem to belong in a scene. Take away the color from even a familiar image, however, and our minds are thrown for a perceptual loop. We may impose remembered hues on an object seen in black-and-white, but we’re also likely to become much more aware of the texture, patterns and shading in the image. These attributes would still be there in a color photo, but they take front-and-center in black-and-white.
50 Wonderful Black & White Photos with Partial Color Effects
If you brush over an area you don’t want in color, switch from black paint to white paint by pressing the X key on your keyboard. Then brush over that area again. You’re actually painting with white on the layer mask, which makes the black and white adjustment visible again.
Think about how many times you’ve flipped through a magazine and seen it: a black-and-white image spread across the page, with a bold splash of color highlighting part of the scene. Maybe it’s the blue eyes of a model, or the bright plumage of a bird as it wings across the page, but that simple break from the monochrome background draws your eye and captures your attention.
In the Layers panel, make sure the white layer mask thumbnail on the Black & White adjustment layer is selected. The white border around that thumbnail tells you it’s selected.
Learn how to convert a photo to black and white in Photoshop CC. Then bring color back to part of the photo for drama and focus.
The use of color accents in a black-and-white photograph is an old technique — older, in fact, than color photography. (Originally, the color was painted onto photographic prints.) The trick goes in and out of vogue with advertisers, but peruse any magazine rack long enough and you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one example. And although this special effect is most often found in professional photography, modern photo editing software puts it within easy reach of any interested amateur.
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