Get creative with colours.
Do you have some shots that are full of gorgeous colours but they don’t quite work?
Does the colour take the eye away from the subject you want to focus on?
Does turning it mono not work because the colour of the subject is important?
This very straightforward editing technique does what it says on the tin and creates a Pop of colour exactly where you need it.
Open the image you would like to work on by going to File>Open and browsing for the image on your computer.
I chose this image where the bright orange leaves are almost lost in the background.
- Make Mono Adjustment.
The first step is to turn the image into a black and white version. Do this by going to Image in the top line menu then Adjustments. Choose black and white from the drop down menu. (Alternatively click on the black and white rectangle icon in Add an Adjustment. A dialogue box will pop up but you can just close this with the cross in the corner.
2. Erasing back to Background.
The next step is to erase some of the adjustment layer so the coloured background layer can be seen.
Click on the eraser tool in the tools column on the left. Press D on your keyboard to make sure the set colours are black and white. (D is the Default).
In the top corner click on the properties box, seen above with the number 12.
Set the size to 30 and hardness to 50% using the sliders.
Make sure you are working on the black and white adjustment layer. If it isn’t highlighted in the layer panel, click on it to make it the working layer.
Brush over the area of the image you want to change to colour. Wherever you brush, the background colour will show through.
You will see the white area gradually change to black on the thumbnail in the layers palette, as you cut out of the mask.
Start off with a larger size brush for the big areas. Reduce the size of the brush for the smaller areas. Zoom in for greater accuracy (View from main menu>actual pixels from drop down menu).
3. Refining the Mask
If you erase parts and get colour you don’t want to see, click on the brush tool to paint the adjustment back in. You can change the size and hardness in the same way as the eraser. Take your time over the edges to get them all accurate.
4. Optional colour wash.
If the image is too stark, you can make further adjustments to the black and white layer.
One option is to change the Opacity of the Black and white adjustment layer. This lets some of the colour show through over the whole image.
In the layers palette, there is a drop down box for Opacity which brings up a slider. You can see the change live by moving the slider. I was happy with my image at 68%
Over to You.
As you can see, this is a very simple process. So if you have an image where you would like to focus on just a small colourful subject or an image that needs rescuing like this one, why not give it a go.