tutorial: selective color in b&w

AndyAndy BicameralNew YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
edited March 17, 2005 in Finishing School
now let's take a look at the parking ticket man

here's the original photo, out of the camera with no post:
4816345-L.jpg

he's a little underexposed, yes? no problem. also, the image is a bit boring. i'll get some of my best inspiration when i sit down at the computer in my digital darkroom..... it came upon me that i should really feature the cop and the ticket. so, here's what i did: i work in adjustment layers, so you can easily see the effects of your different adjustments.

first, i created a levels adjustment layer (layer>new adjustment layer>levels), and brightened up the exposure some. use autolevels, or adjust the sliders manually. i then used the "layer mask" (it's the circle in the square icon in your layers palette) to brush over the areas i didn't want to blow out (like the hood of the truck, and the cop's cap). use a soft-edged brush, size it appropriately for the area you want to "undo" and make sure black is the foreground color. click on the layer mask (right next to the mini-pic of your photo in the layers palette) and begin brushing away. experiment with different opacities of the brush (slider is at the top of your screen), you can see that you are able to eliminate 100% of the effect of that layer or varying amounts depending on where you put the slider. in short, think of the layer mask as a "selective undo" within the layer, it "un-does" the effect you are applying on that layer.

second, i went b&w (use your preferred method, whatever you are comfortable with). i've done alot of different posts on black & white... here is a week's worth of reading for you next, create a layer mask for this layer, and using the brush tool, paint back over the cop and the ticket...restoring the color to just these elements. because you are using a layer mask, it's easy to fine tune the points where the color stops ... don't worry about "coloring outside the lines" becuase all you need to do is either switch to the eraser tool or change your brush color to white, either way, then you can "undo your undo" in the layer mask. sound complicated? it's not, just practice it, i guarantee you'll get the hang of it rather quickly. here's a good tip: work at least at 100% magnification, somtimes even much higher, to get the color parts exactly right. save here as a .psd and flatten.

next, i made a blur layer, i wanted the background to be a bit more oof. duplicate the background layer (ctrl-j) and select filter>blur>gaussian blur (now experiment with the proper amount by using the slider). i then added a layer mask and "unblurred the cop.

a crop, some usm on the cop, and that's it!

2732865-L.jpg

enjoy (getting the most in post) photography,

Comments

  • DoctorItDoctorIt vrooom! Administrators Posts: 11,947 moderator
    edited June 4, 2004
    sure its easy. rolleyes1.gif

    thanks for being pushy though. I've always been afraid of layer masks, i really didn't know you could get away with hand brushing stuff. Always tried to extract or select edges/colors/whatever. I'll give it a go!
    Erik
    moderator of: The Flea Market [ guidelines ]

  • 3rdPlanetPhotography3rdPlanetPhotography Banned User Banned Posts: 920 Major grins
    edited March 14, 2005
    very nice
    I write software for a living... but I think my head just imploded. ne_nau.gif
  • bkrietebkriete Semper olfact primus Registered Users Posts: 168 Major grins
    edited March 14, 2005
    I did a similar thing recently...I used the magic wand to group select the areas I wanted in color (shift+click) and then did an "inverse selection," added a hue/saturation layer and desaturated my selection. I'll have to try your method...more complicated, but probably more control.
  • TOF guyTOF guy Big grins Registered Users Posts: 74 Big grins
    edited March 17, 2005
    Andy


    Thank you very much for the tutorial thumb.gif .

    Now the questions headscratch.gif !

    - I've noticed that you've removed the logo on the truck, and a mirror from a car parked in front of the truck. Any special technique used to do that (like duplicating a piece of the radiator and paste it where the mirror used to be ...) ?

    - It seems that the original pic was slightly off WB-wise, a little yellow. Certainly that uniform looks cleaner after your processing :):. Again any particular technique used there (assuming I'm correct) ?

    The resulting pic is a "wow" clap.gif ! Hey I think that in addition of keeping the ticket its original color, it could have been something to try not to blur it (leaving the truck blurred). That way if you don't get the message about what happens when you park illegally ... rolleyes1.gif

    Thanks for the tutorial, again
    Thierry
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited March 17, 2005
    TOF, check it out - the missing car is the result of a crop.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited March 17, 2005
    TOF guy wrote:
    Andy


    Thank you very much for the tutorial thumb.gif .

    Now the questions headscratch.gif !

    - I've noticed that you've removed the logo on the truck, and a mirror from a car parked in front of the truck. Any special technique used to do that (like duplicating a piece of the radiator and paste it where the mirror used to be ...) ?

    - It seems that the original pic was slightly off WB-wise, a little yellow. Certainly that uniform looks cleaner after your processing :):. Again any particular technique used there (assuming I'm correct) ?

    The resulting pic is a "wow" clap.gif ! Hey I think that in addition of keeping the ticket its original color, it could have been something to try not to blur it (leaving the truck blurred). That way if you don't get the message about what happens when you park illegally ... rolleyes1.gif

    Thanks for the tutorial, again
    Thierry

    hiya thierry :D

    i think the wb was ok, but the final image has a lot of desaturated areas, eh? so the colored areas look even more vibrant. i used the clone stamp on the hood of the truck, and yeah, waxy's right, i cropped out that car bumper.

    thanks for stopping by! always good to see you.
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