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.
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 –).
Do you want to make an image black and white except for one color? Some photos can look really dramatic when you desaturate them and allow one color to pop through. In this article, we will show you how to make a photo B&W except one color in Photoshop.
So if you’re working on black and white photos, be sure to give the spot color trend a shot.
Go ahead and press the Delete button from your keyboard to remove the selected area from Layer 1. Now your photo will be B&W except for one color! (You can press Ctrl + D to remove the selection from the image.)
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%.
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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.
Once you’ve picked your color, hit the OK button to create a selection on your photo.
The first thing you need to do is open your image in Photoshop.
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.
For many, many years photographers hated the spot color look. Spot color, for those of you who haven’t been into photography for more than maybe five years, is when a black and white photo is created but only a specific single color is kept.
The problem is if that color was spread through the entire scene in some way or another, it wouldn’t be as effective. These days on Instagram, lots of photographers do it VERY effectively so much so that it’s a trend again.
The technology and the artists have become better and typically use the color in the scene to help draw the viewer’s eyes into a specific part of the scene.
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.
Next, make Layer 1 visible again, and select it in the Layers panel.
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.
Make Layer 1 invisible (click on the eye icon) to see the effect of the desaturation on your photo.
We hope this article helped you to learn how to make a photo black and white except one color in Photoshop. You may also want to check out our guide on how to add a vintage black and white effect in Photoshop.
A new Black & White adjustment layer appears in the Layers panel, causing the photo on the layer below to change to black and white.
You probably haven’t seen a lot of it unless you’re really into the black and white photography scene. And because I run La Noir Image (which this month is focusing on landscapes), I’m very embedded into it. There are many schools of black and white thought. Some photographers embrace only film photos and want to print with nothing else except with a service like digital silver imaging to create the most pure black and white photos. Others embrace digital and all the tools that are allowed and provided for a photographer behind a screen. For the most part though, digital has mimicked analog and there hasn’t been a whole lot of really cool evolution. Now, the spot color trend is returning.
The Return of Spot Color Black and White Photos on Instagram
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.
Something I’ve talked about before is that black and white photography isn’t a crutch. Instead, it’s something that can help enhance a scene with bland color to begin with. But when you add in a bit of color, you’ll find a way to enhance the scene overall. I still stand by this statement overall, and now it’s evolving thanks to this new Instagram trend.
You’ll need to pick a color that you want to pop out. For this example, we’ll pick the blue color, so the image will be desaturated except for the blue roses.
Then go to Select » Color Range from the top menu bar in Photoshop.
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.
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.
What will be incredible and very fascinating to see is how it will evolve to work out better with video and cinemagraphs. Indeed, it’s also a way for still photographers to keep the still image more interesting in a time when we’re seemingly being bombarded with 3D, VR, and 360 photography. In fact, a 360 photo with spot color would also be pretty radical!
Then click on the color that you want to pick. We are going to click on multiple areas on the blue roses, so we add all the different shades of blue to the sample.
Next, select the Background layer again and press Ctrl + Shift + U to desaturate all the colors from the image.
In the Color Range dialog box, choose the Eyedropper Tool with the plus sign (this tool is called, “Add to Sample”).
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.
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.
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.
If there are any leftover colors that you don’t want, pick the Eraser Tool and simply erase the leftover colors for a perfect result.
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.
It’s fascinating that a method so incredibly hated by photographers has suddenly returned. To be fair, it was originally billed as a feature useful for the consumer who purchased a camera and felt that they wanted to just have fun. It was available on every Canon PowerShot at one point and I remember absolutely hating the results and photographers in DPReview’s forums saying how terrible it was. The problem: the consumers using this feature didn’t have a creative vision and it was instead just applied to things like selfies and some pretty pedestrian photos overall. But artists with an actual creative vision for their photographs are doing it much better these days. However, these artists are also being incredibly specific about where the color is in the scene vs just letting the camera or app do it automatically.
Spot color can start with apps like Touch of Color on iOS, but keep in mind that the image also has to be very good–plus the composition needs to be effective too. I prefer to do it in Lightroom where I have a bit more manual fine tuning control.
This method honestly began way back in the analog film days. What some photographers used to do with their black and white negatives is color over them. Sometimes you’d have full scenes colored in and other times you’d have only a bit of one. When digital photography came around, things changed.
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.
Then press Ctrl + Shift + I to inverse the selection, everything is selected except for the color you want to preserve.
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.
Now right click on the Background layer in the Layers panel on the right-hand side of your Photoshop screen, and select the Duplicate Layer option (a new layer will be added named Layer 1).