Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Isolating and changing the color of an umbrella, part of Photoshop for Photographers: Color Emphasis.
In this chapter we'll be focusing in on how we can create an attention grabbing color effect. We'll start off with this photograph here with a simple example and then we'll progressively make things a little bit more complex. Now, what we're going to do here is we're going to make a selection of a certain area of this photograph and then we're going to turn everything else but that selected area, to black and white. This is a photograph of a girl holding a red umbrella. And what I want to do, is just focus in on the umbrella here. I want to, draw everyone's attention to that, and convert everything else to black and white.
So our first step of course, is to make a selection. One easy way to make a selection is with the Quick Select tool. You can access that by tapping the w key on your keyboard, or by clicking on the Quick Select tool icon which is located right here. Next what you may want to do is change your brush size. You have a few different ways that you can do that. One easy technique is to click up to the options bar, which is located up here in the top and you can drag the size slider to the right or left to increase or decrease your brush size.
Or if you prefer to use shortcuts, you can also tap your bracket keys. Press the right bracket key to make the brush bigger. Press the left bracket key to make the brush smaller. Now, the reason why you want to change your brush size is, when you're making selections, if you have a big defined area like we have here, you can get away with using a little bit of a larger brush. And this will allow you to make a selection really quickly as we've done so here. Now, the only downside of Quick Select, of course, is that sometimes the edges are a little bit rough.
So you may want to refine, or clean those up. An easy way to do that is to click on the Refine Edge button, which is located in the Options bar. So again, make that selection, and then click on Refine Edge. In the refine edge dialogue, we have the ability to view what we've selected a few different ways. You can click on this pull-down menu to select different options, and sometimes seeing a different view can help you define your edges or to view areas of the edges that you might want to clean up. So make a selection there which allows you to evaluate how you've done with that selection.
Next it's almost always helpful to turn on Smart Raduis and to just crank this up a little bit. What that does is it pays more attention to the edges and a lot times just cleans them up a little bit. Here I'll just bring this up a bit and then I'll smooth my edges out a little bit and add just a touch of feathering. All that this does is just make our selection even better. So, in order to apply these new settings to that selected area, we need to click on the OK button. And now we have a selection which is a bit better. Well, now that we have this selection, we're ready to create an adjustment layer.
And we're going to create a black and white adjustment layer. In doing that what will happen is we'll actually convert the umbrella to black and white which is the exact opposite of what we want, yet no big deal, we'll talk about how we can invert that selection to make things right here in just a minute. All right, so after we've made that selection navigate to the adjustments panel and here click on the black and white adjustment layer icon. When you do that, you'll see that this area is now black and white. As I mentioned, we want to flip-flop that, so that this is actually in color, and everything else is in black and white.
To do that, you can either navigate to the mask area in the properties panel, and click on the Invert button. You can find that right here, or you can use a shortcut. Shortcut to invert a mask is Cmd+I on a Mac, or Ctrl+I on Windows. All right, well here we have our attention-grabbing color effect. We have the red of the umbrella, the only color which is showing in this picture. Well, after we've made this selection, and we've created this mask, the next thing we might want to do just to have some fun, is to take advantage of perhaps modifying this color to see if we might want to try a different color for the umbrella.
An easy way to do that is to work with hue saturation. The adjustment layer icon for hue saturation is located right here in the adjustments panel, so go ahead and click on that. And if you drag the hue sider around, you can see that you can modify the color that you have here, and you can also modify the overall color lightness or saturation. If you want less or more saturation, you can work on that. Or if you want it to be brighter or darker, the overall look of the image. So in this case, with this layer we've changed that umbrella from red to blue, we've also darkened the image up a little bit as well.
And so here as we are starting to see we can create this effect really easily and it all hinges upon this idea of making a selection and then after we made that selection creating an adjustment layer in order to modify the area of the image which is effect in this case which is converted to black and white.
- Isolating color
- Removing and highlighting color
- Selectively desaturating an image
- Hand painting in color in a specific area
- Posterizing an image
- Creating a sepia-toned look
- Colorizing an entire image
- Changing the background color
- Creating vibrant color with adjustment layers
- Copying and reusing color adjustments to a new photo