Photoshop Tutorials
The Design Center, DT&G / Photoshop Department / Selective Coloring  

Ladies and Gentlemen, we welcome back Mr. Tim Shelbourne to once again share his Photoshop expertise in this issue of DTG!

Selective Coloring & Tonal Color Effects

[Editor's Note: Folks, just yesterday we got yet another request for help making a color element in a grayscale photo. This tutorial, from the Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook, not only shows you that, but provides a number of other techniques that can expand on that concept many times over! Thanks to O'Reilly Publishing we're able to bring the technique to you in its entirety! ]

Tim Shelbourne writes...

ColorColor has great power when it comes to conveying emotion and attracting attention. This power is multiplied exponentially when color is used as an accent in an otherwise monochrome image. By using selective coloring, we can draw the viewer's eye to the key areas of an image, with the colored areas adopting a jewel-like quality amid an expanse of gray.

duplicate Note: Due to the size and number of diagrams, we've made these thumbnails clickable, and should open the actual diagram in a new, pop-up window. If they don't, be sure you have JAVA turned on, and Pop-up blocking turned off.

The effect ranges from the subtle to the extreme. We can tint an image with just a hint of color, or apply an exciting splash of color to a specific area. Layer masks are an essential tool here, offering us the ability to restore color to the area of our choice, which can be controlled and restrained with the accuracy only a brush can provide.

Click here to see the beginning photograph.

1 The first step is to duplicate the background layer by dragging it to the new layer icon in the Layers palette or hitting Ctrl/Cmd+J).


2 Desaturate to Grayscale: Since we want most of the image to be monochrome, on this duplicate layer
go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U).

To add to the effect, give this monochrome layer a subtle blue tint.
Go to Image > Adjustment > Hue and Saturation.
Check the Colorize box, and move the Hue slider to 221, and the Saturation slider to 12.Layermask

3 Add a Layer Mask: Now we're going to add a layer mask to the monochrome layer, which we'll use to manually restore color to parts of the image.
Go to Layer > Layer Mmask > Rreveal All.

Layer Mask

4 Set Up the Layer Mask: Check the Layers palette to be sure that the layer mask thumbnail is highlighted, which means that we're working on the layer mask, not the layer itself.

Set the foreground color to black and select the Brush tool.

Setting the brush

Click in the Brush Picker and select a hard round brush.
Hit F5 to display the Brush Options and ensure that Shape Dynamics is unchecked.

Before we continue to the next page, here's a tip you'll want to remember:

NOTICETip Layer mask or actual image layer?

It's very important when working with layer masks to make sure that you're painting on the mask and not on the associated image layer. There are three ways to check this:
1. check for a bold outline around the thumbnail for the layer mask in the Layers palette.
2. check for the mask symbol in the margin of the Layers palette (PCc only). When you're working on the image layer, a Brush symbol will appear, but when you're painting on a mask, it will be replaced by a small rectangle with a circle at its center.
3. Watch the Color Since masks operate on a purely grayscale principle, when you're working on a layer mask, your foreground/background color swatches will always be white, black, or gray.

NOTICENOW, you can continue to the next page


Tim Shelbourne worked for 20 years as a traditional artist and illustrator before converting to digital image making. Tim specializes in digital fine art and photo-manipulation using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel Painter. (consistently producing stunning Photographic Effects; Watercolor Paintings, Oil Paintings, special texture effects, and unique assemblages.) His tutorials are published regularly in Total Digital Photography magazine. (Back to top of article)


Also see:
Tim Shelbourne's Watercolor Effects from the Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - 61 Easy-to-Follow Recipes for Digital Photographers, Designers, and Artists (Download: 15 MB PDF Format)

Photoshop Blending Modes Cookbook for Digital Photographers with 48 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Fix Problem Photos and Create Amazing Effects, By John Beardsworth ... Layer blending modes have been part of Photoshop for years, but they're not easy to understand at first glance. Sample Excerpt: Ultrawide Sharpening & Vibrant Mix (PDF Format)

Photoshop Retouching Cookbook for Digital Photographers with 113 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Improve Your Photos and Create Special Effects By Barry Huggins ... tells you everything you need to know to adjust, correct, retouch, and manipulate your photographs-without making you first learn everything there is to know about Photoshop CS2. Sample Excerpt: Motion Blurring and Removing Skin Blemishes & Wrinkles (PDF Format)

Adobe Photoshop CS2
Upgrade price from Photoshop xx: $149.00
Upgrade price from Elements: $499.00
Photoshop CS2 full package: Save up to 30%


Return to: Photoshop Tips & Tricks, or the Design Center Front Page


Participate in your Design Center

Lots of fun and information for all... don't forget, any community is only as good as the participation of its members. We invite your tips, tricks, comments, suggestions and camaraderie.
Advertise your products or services among these pages! Call: 540-433-8402 for details.