This is one of the oldest and the earliest trick anyone ever came up with in Photoshop. Selective colouring is where a particular object or region in a black and white picture is left to retain its colour. It’s a very neat technique and helps you bring in focus a particular point in an image.
We will be using the layer masking technique in Photoshop to do this.
I have already given a detailed explanation of layer masking in my previous blog.
To recap, layer masking is the technique of layering one image over the other and then tearing through the image in the top layer and revealing that area from the image in the bottom layer.
Using the concept of layer masking, we will place the black and white image on top of the colour image in Photoshop layers. Layer mask the black and white photo over the colour photo and reveal only those areas where we require the colour to be shown.
Things you will need
All you will need for this trick is any colour photo and Photoshop installed on your computer.
- Open your image in Photoshop.
Points to remember
Though it’s a very easy trick, selective colouring will not work on all black and white images. You must have a very good reason behind selective colouring. For example, a pattern of neatly arranged objects is a great example for selective colouring. If selective colouring is used here, the one coloured object of the lot in a black and white ambience will create a definite impact. It will be like throwing spotlight on a theatre performer.
Selective colouring also works for jewellery. Shooting a black and white portrait of a model and then highlighting the tiny pieces of jewellery alone will make the audience focus on the jewels.
There is no exact science behind it. When you are trying out selective colouring, just ask yourself why is it that you chose that particular object or region in your picture for selective colour. If your answer is convincing enough, you are probably going in the right direction. Experiment it yourself.
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