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 –).
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.
Using this method rather than the “Paint to color” method allows you to use this method on videos without having to individually color every frame.
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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.
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].
There are many different names for the same effect: color pop, color burst, color splash, desaturate all colors except one, and selective colorization. You can search for any of these terms in the App Store or Google Play Store to find apps that do what you want.
A good alternative to Color Pop Effects that includes similar features for a lower price.
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.
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.
Available for free on iPhone/iPad and Android devices, paid upgrades available.
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.
Photoshop gives you more control over the colors of your photos than apps ever could. It’s good to learn how to create these effects on your own to get the most control. Envira Gallery wrote an excellent Photoshop tutorial:
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.
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.
Although this app is available for free, all of the best features are for sale and at just $0.99, it’s very good value. This app uses a different method to the other featured apps: Use the eye dropper tool to highlight which color you want to remain colored. The rest of the video frames will be converted to black and white.
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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%.
Video Color Editor – Change Video Color, Add Video Filters and Vintage Effects
How to Create Black-and-White Photographs with Color Accents
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.
A new Black & White adjustment layer appears in the Layers panel, causing the photo on the layer below to change to black and white.
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This app is actually built to make Portrait Mode style photos on any device (even unsupported ones) but it also has a cool feature that lets you make the background black & white. This effectively gives you two-for-one, letting you optionally blur the background while also selecting which areas in the foreground to keep in colour. Bonus!
Available for free on iPhone/iPad and Android devices, paid upgrade to remove ads
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.
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.
You might have seen photos that feature this dramatic effect: one object in color with the rest in black and white. Here are the best apps and tutorials that show you how to recreate this effect.
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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.
Color Pop Effects Photo Editor uses the same method mentioned above: decolor the image and then highlight the parts you want colored. Change the hue of your selected color to create some cool effects (e.g. make your pink watermelon look blue instead).
Desaturate the entire image (make the whole image black and white)Use a paintbrush to highlight the parts that you want to colorErase the sections that you unintentionally colored and neaten up the effect.Best apps for selective color effectColor Wow
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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.
Color Wow is one of the most flexible apps you can use to selectively color your photographs. Tap your photo to select the color you want to remain coloured while the rest changes to grayscale. It also includes a nice additional feature that allows you to change the highlight color of the final image. For example, you could take a black and white image with a yellow taxi and make it blue instead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have Adobe Premiere, try this tutorial for desaturating videos except for one color:
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.
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.